Being developed by H2-Industries, the waste-to-hydrogen plant will be “one of the largest at this scale” the company said, and will be situated in the Suez Canal Economic Zone – a key corridor of international trade.

The 1GW production plant will be supplied 4 million tonnes of organic waste and non-recyclable waste per year secured at the Mediterranean entrance to the canal.

The cost of the hydrogen will also be a huge aspect of the project with it expected to be at half the levelised cost of current green hydrogen production technologies making it cheaper than low-carbon and grey hydrogen production.

To find out more about this major project and the company’s ambitions for it, H2 View spoke exclusively with Michael Stusch, CEO of H2-Industries.

H2 View (H2V): Thank you for giving H2 View your time. To start with, could you tell me a little bit about H2-Industries and how it fits into the hydrogen space?

Michael Stusch (MS): The barrier to using hydrogen across many energy intensive sectors has always been storage and transportation. H2-Industries have developed an innovative solution that opens the pathway for hydrogen to be utilised safely and cost effectively across numerous sectors including electricity generation, transportation, industry, shipping and aviation.

The technology allows hydrogen to be stored in a liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC). The fact that hydrogen can be stored in an LOHC is not new, but H2-Industries have developed a super-efficient, one-step reaction process which will extract the hydrogen from the LOHC so that it can be used as fuel of feedstock across a variety of sectors or used to generate electrical energy in a fuel cell.

Once the hydrogen has been extracted from the LOHC, the carrier can be off-loaded and recharged, ready to be reused.

H2V: H2-Industries recently revealed plans to develop a 300,000 tonne per year waste-to-hydrogen project. Could you tell me a little bit about this and how it has come about?

MS: We reached out to several countries within the MENA region, and Egypt was one of the first countries to respond. Egypt has been ramping up its green hydrogen ambitions and waste is a significant issue there. And so, the Suez Canal is the perfect location where we can build up the first hydrogen hub utilising LOHC or synthetic fuels because every tanker passes through the canal.

The waste-to-hydrogen plant is currently at the feasibility study stage, which should take about one and a half months, and is subject to final approval from the General Authority of the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone).

H2V: As well as this, could you tell me a little bit about the hydrogen production technology? What are the benefits of using waste products to create hydrogen?

MS: To produce green hydrogen, you either need renewable electrical energy and electrolysis or get hydrogen from another source. Waste with a huge variety of hydrocarbons is a perfect feed to get rid of the waste problems and receiving hydrogen as a target product.

The H2-Industries process separates hydrogen and carbon as pure products. We believe this is a key technology for solving the future energy needs and transforming the economy into a hydrogen area – cheap and affordable for all nations.

H2V: What other projects are H2-Industries involved in? Why are these significant?

MS: We are in negotiations for projects in 20 countries on all continents with governments and project developers for waste to hydrogen plants and LOHC storage solutions for wind and solar parks.

H2V: What do you believe is the potential for hydrogen in decarbonising society? What are the main factors that are restricting its wider adoption?

MS: Hydrogen storage is a critical enabling technology for advancing hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in applications including stationary power, portable power, and transportation. Hydrogen has the highest energy per mass of any fuel; however, its low ambient temperature density results in a low energy per unit volume, requiring the development of advanced storage methods that have the potential for higher energy density.

Hydrogen can be stored physically as either a gas or a liquid. Storage of hydrogen as a gas typically requires high-pressure tanks (350–700 bar [5,000–10,000 psi] tank pressure). Storage of hydrogen as a liquid requires cryogenic temperatures because the boiling point of hydrogen at one-atmosphere pressure is −252.8°C. Hydrogen can also be stored on the surfaces of solids (by adsorption) or within solids (by absorption).

These means of storage were the major barrier for the development of a hydrogen economy. With LOHC there is a complete change of the situation – hydrogen as a secondary energy carrier becomes easily transportable and endless storable in our existing fuel infrastructures. Using an oil as a refundment carrier and not burn it any longer opens new opportunities for existing oil exporting countries to participate in the change.

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