Japanese chemical company Asahi Kasei has begun trial operation of an alkaline water electrolysis plant for the production of green hydrogen (H2) using renewable energy jointly with IHI Corp. in Soma, Fukushima.

With large electrodes, maximum electrolytic capacity of 120 KW, and H2 production capacity of 25 Nm3/h, the plant is installed at the Soma IHI Green Energy Centre launched in April 2018 by Soma City and IHI.

“The plant uses a large-scale alkaline water electrolysis system having the world’s largest electrodes developed on commission by Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), which continues to support its trial operation.

“Previous tests by Asahi Kasei have confirmed that the system enables high energy efficiency of over 90% and outstanding responsiveness with fluctuating output.”

“The trial operation announced today is expected to verify the practicality of the plant employed in an integrated configuration with an actual photovoltaic power generation facility. The period of trial operation is April 2018 to March 2020,” Asahi Kasei explained.

The company will utilise the know-how gained through this trial operation to advance the commercialisation of an alkaline water electrolysis system featuring the world-leading scale of 10 MW in a single unit, in accordance with a strategic management focus on providing solutions to society in the area of clean environmental energy.