MOL advances Wind Hunter project with purified water production system for hydrogen generation

Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) is advancing its Wind Hunter project with the initiative to develop a pure water production system for hydrogen generation.

Wind Hunter, Image by MOL

MOL’s Wind Hunter project aims to harness offshore wind energy to produce hydrogen from water onboard and convert it into propulsion for vessels.

Hydrogen production requires a high level of water purity and during the Wind Hunter hydrogen production process, seawater is first purified by passing it through a filter to remove impurities but the filters currently used require frequent replacement, which increases the workload of crewmembers and imposes a significant cost burden, MOL explains.

The shipping company has teamed up with Kyushu University Professor Takeshi Shinoda and Taiyo Sangyo Co., Ltd. to develop long-lasting, durable, and high-performance filters that will be able to remove even bacteria, which will require even more advanced technology in the future, and to manufacture a pure water production system.

To note, the system has been selected for a Shiga Prefecture-backed project to promote social implementation of near-future technologies.

Image by MOL

In this development, MOL will take on a role in project management, market research, and provision of expertise in marine system design. Kyushu University will be responsible for designing a demonstration test of a pure water production system, development and application of a high-performance filter while
Taiyo Sangyo will be in charge of the development and application of reverse osmosis.

The development of more efficient onboard technology to produce pure water from seawater in the Wind Hunter project will mark a major step toward the realization of large zero-emission ships, MOL said.

Related Article

As explained, the pure water production system will be designed not only for seawater but also for fresh water through a demonstration test in Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture. MOL will assess the effects of differences in water quality and establish a versatile pure water production technology by comparing seawater with fresh water from Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan. It will not only create pure water production technology for the Wind Hunter project but also apply the developed technology to supply pure water to hydrogen production plants and other applications.