Energy / Climate Change

March 13, 2012


Commercial Plant to Start Producing Hydrogen from Woody Biomass in April

Keywords: Environmental Technology Manufacturing industry Renewable Energy 

Idex Eco Energy Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Japanese oil distributor Shin-Idemitsu Co., has completed construction of the world's first commercial plant for producing hydrogen from woody biomass in Omuta Echo Town, Fukuoka Prefecture. The corporation held a plant completion ceremony on October 17, 2011. The company will start full-scale operation in April 2012, following a period of preparations that include performance confirmation tests.

The plant will use wood chips derived from nearby forest-thinning activities as a raw material, in effect producing energy close to its point of consumption. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries has selected the project as a recipient in its grant project aimed at creating industries that make use of local resources. About 1.5 billion yen of Idex's total project expenses, about 2.1 billion yen, will be subsidized by the government.

The plant's production system will use a technology owned by Japan Planning Organization, Inc. that enables an approximately 75% reduction in the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) used to produce hydrogen compared with hydrogen conventionally made from natural gas. Idex plans to manufacture 7,200 cubic meters (at a purity of 99.99% or better) of hydrogen gas using 15 tons (dry weight) of woody chips a day. For the time being, the hydrogen will be sold by Shin-Idemitsu to commercial customers.

Anticipating the future arrival of a hydrogen-based society, Idex is planning to use biomass as an energy source for hydrogen stations and household fuel cells and, by procuring the biomass locally, to revitalize the local economy.

SHIN-IDEMITSU to Construct World's First Commercial Plant to Produce Hydrogen from Wood Chips (Related JFS article)
Japanese Institute Succeeds in Continuous Hydrogen Production from Woodchips (Related JFS article)

Posted: 2012/03/13 06:00:15 AM