Photo: Courtesy of Chiyoda

Japanese group confirms hydrogen supply chain feasibility

Chiyoda, the Japanese engineering company, completed the demonstration phase of the first global hydrogen supply chain system.

Chiyoda: technology to ship hydrogen at room temperature
Courtesy of Chiyoda

Chiyoda, Mitsubishi, Mitsui, and NYK Line are members of the Advanced hydrogen energy chain association for technology development (AHEAD). The association completed the world’s first global hydrogen supply chain system on 25 December 2020.

AHEAD launched the demonstration project in 2015, subsidised by New Energy and NEDO (Industrial technology development organization).

The project’s second phase lasted from 2017 to 2020 and included the design, procurement, construction, and operation of facilities to confirm the feasibility of the global hydrogen supply chain.

The supply chain maximizes the use of existing infrastructure and meets international safety standards.

It starts with the procurement of hydrogen from the source country. It then supervises transportation to the countries that will consume hydrogen in the form of methylcyclohexane (MCH), and oversees distribution using Chiyoda’s SPERA Hydrogen technology.

As hydrogen is difficult to transport as gas and liquefying it requires a temperature of minus 250 Celsius, Chiyoda has found a way to extract hydrogen from MCH, which can be transported as a liquid and stored for at least two years.

The demonstration phase transported and stored over 100 tones of hydrogen over ten months and thus verified that the system is technically ready for commercial use. This confirmed SPERA Hydrogen’s potential contribution to the goal of global carbon neutrality by 2050.

Chiyoda’s goal is to expand the system towards semi commercialisation by the mid 2020s.