23 Dec Ambitious liquid hydrogen venture
Japan relies heavily on imported liquified natural gas, coal and nuclear power and the country is making a huge effort to become carbón neutral by 2050. The Japanese have invested heavily in hydrogen and are currently producing liquid and compressed gas hydrogen from natural gas and oil, basically. It is being used for residential buildings, experimental power plants and fuel cell vehicles.
Japan has an agreement with Australia to produce and liquify hydrogen from lignite, a type of coal, in Victoria. The pilot phase of the Project was funded by the authorities of both countries. The plant built in Kobe will become the pilot terminus for the world’s first liquid hydrogen tanker ship named Suiso Frontier.
Once the pilot phase is completed and the data analyzed, they consider they will enter a comercial phase after 2030. The main difficulties are the transportation of liquid hydrogen at -253ºC and the fact that using lignite emits 20 tonnes of carbón dioxide, more than double the ones created when hydrogen is produced from natural gas. It is an environmentally viable process but not fully renewable. Besides, the production cost will in time become affordable as it becomes more popular among industries and individuals.