Asahi Kasei Europe started a demonstration project for the production of green hydrogen at the Hydrogen Competence Center h2herten in Herten, Germany. The project will transform simulated electric power from wind energy into hydrogen and contribute to the development of a green hydrogen production system.

Asahi Kasei is intensifying its activities in the field of hydrogen production in Europe. The Japanese technology company is a leading supplier of chlor-alkali electrolysis systems, which are used in 126 production sites in 26 countries worldwide. Based on this technology, the company developed an alkaline-water electrolysis system which is suitable for use with fluctuating power input such as from renewable energy sources. The highly efficient system offers scalability up to 10 MW, allowing the customer to produce a large quantity of hydrogen with a single unit.

On April 27 2018, Asahi Kasei Europe, the Asahi Kasei Group’s European operational headquarters, started a demonstration project to produce hydrogen from simulated wind energy in the Hydrogen City of Herten in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The joint project together with the Hydrogen Competence Center h2herten will contribute to the development of an electrolysis system to produce green hydrogen on a large scale. From the beginning, the project has continuously and intensively been supported by NRW.INVEST, the Economic Development Agency of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia and its Japanese subsidiary, the NRW Japan K.K., and the EnergyAgency.NRW.

Fred Toplak, mayor of Herten, comments on the joint project: “The infrastructure at the Hydrogen Competence Center h2herten offers Asahi Kasei Europe an ideal environment for the set-up and system integration of its alkaline-water electrolysis system. The cooperation with Asahi Kasei Europe is a great example for project initiatives with companies engaging in future energy solutions and will help to continuously expand the Center.”

Hideki Tsutsumi, Managing Director of Asahi Kasei Europe, comments: “The energy industry in Europe is changing dramatically, with rising demand for new storage technologies and production systems for clean energy. Asahi Kasei’s alkaline-water electrolysis system is a fitting solution for these challenges. We are proud to contribute to this change, together with h2herten, as a strong local partner.”

Strengthening the cooperation with European partners

Hydrogen is a focus of increasing interest in recent years, not only in the field of energy storage (Power-to-Gas) but also as an important component of alternative fuels for automobiles (Power-to-Fuel). Europe in general and Germany in particular, with its ambitious goals for CO2 reduction, its drop-out of nuclear energy by 2022 and its high share of electric power supply from fluctuating renewable energy sources, have a high need for reliable power storage technologies.

Asahi Kasei has already succeeded in a long-term demonstration project on hydrogen production in Japan. The alkaline-water electrolysis demonstration project in Herten is the company’s second project in Europe aiming to develop an electrolysis system for the production of green hydrogen using electric power from renewable energy sources.

On November 14th 2017, Asahi Kasei Europe announced its participation in the three-year multi-partner ALIGN-CCUS project to help transform six European industrial regions into economically robust, low-carbon centres by 2025. Asahi Kasei’s alkaline-water electrolysis system will be one of the cornerstones for CO2 reuse and reduced CO2 emissions.

Asahi Kasei Europe is a member of Work Package 4 of the ALIGN-CCUS Project together with European partner companies and institutions. Work Package 4 focusses on the design, construction and operation a first-of-a-kind, full-chain CO2 capture and conversion project in an industrial environment.