The newly developed water electrolysis hydrogen production plant of Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan was put to practical test at the Denso plant in Tamura, Fukushima Prefecture, and was released to the media on 14 March. By using hydrogen, it aims to reduce CO2 emissions from the plant and achieve a decarbonized society. Toyota intends to revitalise local industries, including manufacturing, and also contribute to supporting reconstruction.
The plant is being built at Denso's Fukushima plant, which manufactures products related to automotive air conditioning, etc. Tests will be carried out sequentially from this month and are scheduled to be completed by the year 2025.
The unit, which is about 5.8 metres wide and 2.8 metres high, produces about 8 kilograms of hydrogen per hour by electrolysing water. The plant uses approximately 90% of the fuel cell parts used in the Toyota fuel cell vehicle "MIRAI", making it low-cost and compact.
The electricity used for electrolysis comes mainly from renewable energy sources produced at the plant using solar and wind power, etc. Five kilograms of hydrogen per hour will be used as heat for the plant's exhaust harmless treatment furnace. The rest of the hydrogen is planned to be used for logistics trucks, etc.
Toshiya Kawashima, President of Denso Fukushima, said in a speech at the ceremony on the 14th: "I am delighted to have the opportunity to take on a new challenge. A carbon-neutral plant using hydrogen will be realized here to bring vitality to Fukushima."
2. Hydrogen production plant by water electrolysis
As a clean energy source, hydrogen is characterised by its low density, high combustion temperature, non-toxicity and wide flammability range.
Hydrogen production by water electrolysis is a more convenient method. By passing a direct current through an electrolytic bath filled with potassium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide, water molecules undergo an electrochemical reaction at the electrodes and decompose into hydrogen and oxygen.
As the core process equipment of green electricity-green hydrogen conversion, water electrolysis hydrogen production equipment is attracting much attention in 2022, and many central enterprises and listed companies are actively laying out the manufacturing of water electrolysis hydrogen production equipment and releasing water electrolysis hydrogen production equipment products. Our preliminary estimate is that by 2025, China's new renewable energy supply of green hydrogen will reach approximately 500,000 tonnes.
It is also widely used in the automotive industry, especially in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. As hydrogen gas is colourless and odourless, it is imperative that the concentration of hydrogen in the air is monitored during use using hydrogen sensors. Furthermore, the hydrogen sensor must also be required to have the advantage of a fast response time and high accuracy.
3. Recommended hydrogen detectors
UST hydrogen detector imported from Germany
- Display range: 1ppm - 999ppm.
- Detection from the ppm level to the lower explosion limit (LEL).
- Microprocessor control unit with high sensitivity, wide detection range and high resistance to interference.
- Automatic probe detection with error recognition (can be switched off).
- Specified for use in the Beijing Olympic Games and Shanghai Expo for new energy vehicles as well as hydrogen refuelling stations.
- Widely used for the detection and alarm of hydrogen leaks during production, use, transport and storage.