The nascent new generation of energy classifies hydrogen fuel according to the method of production. “Green” hydrogen is obtained by electrolysis from water, this option does not provide for greenhouse gas emissions, but remains costly. The Japanese company Eneos has found a way to reduce the cost of producing such fuel by three times.
Eneos intends to implement its plans in cooperation with Chiyoda no earlier than 2030, and Australia has been selected as the site for the construction of a hydrogen production facility. The fact is that the enterprise itself for the extraction of hydrogen from water occupies an area of no more than one square kilometer, but if we focus on the energy supply of production from renewable sources, then the solar power plant next door will occupy 64 square kilometers. Australia in this sense has both a favorable climate and geographical position, and sufficient areas.
The essence of the technology proposed by Japanese hydrogen producers is the combined electrolysis of water and toluene – the output is methylcyclohexane, which can be stored and transported at normal ambient temperatures, while pure hydrogen requires storage at minus 253 degrees Celsius, which makes its transportation very costly. Hydrogen can be extracted from methylcyclohexane already in close proximity to consumers.
This technology not only halves the cost of building a fuel production plant, but also three times reduces the cost of a kilogram of hydrogen. In the case of Japan, it is reduced to $ 3 per kilogram. For reference, a Toyota Mirai using hydrogen as a fuel under experimental conditions far from everyday operation is capable of consuming no more than 0.56 kg of hydrogen per 100 kilometers. In fact, the fuel produced using the new technology reduces the cost of the mileage to $ 1.78 per hundred kilometers.
The Japanese government has set a goal to use up to 3 million tons of hydrogen in the country by 2030. About fifteen percent of this volume should be “green” hydrogen. The plant, which Eneos and Chiyoda will build in Australia, will cover Japan’s hydrogen needs by almost 10%. In terms of energy, the productivity of such an enterprise will be comparable to the capacity of a nuclear reactor.