Japanese multinational shows interest in plastic-to-hydrogen tech development

18th January 2022 By: Marleny Arnoldi - Creamer Media Online Writer

Plastics-to-hydrogen company Hydrogen Utopia International (HUI) has signed a letter of intent (LoI) with Japanese multinational Mitsubishi Heavy Industries whereby the latter will review HIU’s technology and explore commercial opportunities for developing more advanced facilities.

HUI is championing Aim-listed Powerhouse Energy’s distributed modular generation (DMG) technology to transform non-recyclable waste plastics into hydrogen. The two companies have a collaboration agreement in place.

DMG technology can transform plastics that could otherwise contaminate the environment into increasingly sought after road-fuel-quality hydrogen for use in diverse applications, which relate to meeting net-zero targets.

Mitsubishi will have a period of one year to review the technology under the LoI, unless it is extended by mutual consent.

Any decision to deploy the technology would be subject to further detailed agreements between the parties.

London-headquartered HUI is working with various countries to secure funding and subsidies for what it intends to be its first waste-to-energy commercial plant in Konin, Poland.

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Japan is a highly industrialised country with a severe lack of hydrocarbon resources that sees multiple values in using hydrogen, including energy security, industrial competitiveness and carbon emissions reduction.

In 2017, Japan issued the Basic Hydrogen Strategy, becoming the first country to adopt a national hydrogen framework. The country intends using hydrogen for transportation, domestic and commercial power generation, heavy industry, and potentially refining. It is already a world leader in fuel cell technology, especially fuel cell vehicles, and its captains of industry are keen to export their technology to the rest of the world.

The country is highly focused on securing access to hydrogen feedstocks. It has, therefore, begun to test various options for sourcing hydrogen. The Japanese government provides robust funding for research, development, demonstration and deployment.

With gate fees in Japan for the tipping of plastic waste running high, and a national commitment to diverging away from fossil fuels, switching to renewables and a hydrogen-powered economy, there is significant potential on the horizon for HUI’s progressive waste to energy grand plan to take root in the country, HUI states.