DENSO Corporation and DENSO Fukushima Corporation today announced that they will start a demonstration project at DENSO Fukushima in March 2023 to produce and use green hydrogen at its plant in collaboration with Toyota Motor Corporation as part of the initiative to realize carbon-neutral manufacturing.*1 Through the demonstration project, the two companies aim to build a model of local production for local consumption of hydrogen and realize carbon-neutral plant.
Under the slogan of "Bringing hope for the future for our planet, society, and all people" set out in the Long-term Policy 2030, the DENSO Group has been working to maximize the value proposition in the "Green" and "Peace of Mind" fields. In the "Green" field, it has been making various efforts related to manufacturing, mobility products, and energy use to realize carbon neutrality. To contribute to the realization of a recycling-oriented society in addition to a carbon-neutral society, we are working on the interconnection and integrated control of "The Five Flows," "Free Movement of People," "Flow of Goods," "Energy Utilization," "Minimization of Resource Requirements," and "Flow of Data" that supports these flows. In particular, in the "Energy Utilization," we aim to build an energy circulation system that combines various types of energy such as electricity, hydrogen, and fuel. As part of such efforts, it has been developing technologies to produce and use hydrogen, which is attracting much public attention as a source of clean energy in the future.
Meanwhile, DENSO Fukushima has constructed solar and wind power generation systems on its premises to make its plant carbon neutral. It has worked to replace electricity derived from fossil fuels with renewable energy derived from private power generation. Inspired by the concept of social implementation for the development of future cites using hydrogen and related technologies in Fukushima Prefecture initiated by the Fukushima Prefectural Government and Toyota in June 2021, DENSO and DENSO Fukushima have participated as partner companies in a project to realize carbon-neutral factories by using hydrogen as part of the initiative.
DENSO and DENSO Fukushima will embark on a demonstration project in collaboration with Toyota to produce green hydrogen at DENSO Fukushima's plant and use the produced hydrogen in the plant gas furnace.
In terms of producing hydrogen, Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolyzer system equipment developed by Toyota will be introduced to produce hydrogen through the electrolysis of water. Renewable energy derived from private power generation at DENSO Fukushima will be used to produce hydrogen. The PEM electrolyzer system offers high reliability and durability and low initial costs by using the same stack-related components as Toyota's FCEV "MIRAI," making it possible to produce hydrogen more cheaply than before.
In terms of using hydrogen, LP gas, which is used in the afterburner furnace*2 to make the exhaust gases generated in the plant harmless, will be replaced by hydrogen produced in-house. Combustion of hydrogen at high temperature generates NOx gas *3. The burner structure has been improved to achieve gentle mixing and combustion of hydrogen and air. Also the combustion temperature in the furnaces has been lowered by using combustion simulation technology refined in the manufacture of automotive component. Thereby suppressing NOx gas emissions and reducing the energy consumption are accomplished simultaneously.
In addition, in terms of transporting hydrogen, local production for local consumption of hydrogen, which aims to achieve self-consumption of hydrogen produced in-house, will help cut the transport cost, which is one of the issues in utilizing hydrogen.
Through the demonstration project, we will build a model that can optimally introduce the required amount of hydrogen according to the size of the factories by establishing a package from hydrogen production to utilization. The project aims to expand the partnership to promote the use of hydrogen in the Fukushima region, with DENSO Fukushima serving as the hub, and spread the model of local production for local consumption of hydrogen from Fukushima Prefecture to the rest of Japan.
DENSO and DENSO Fukushima will spread the use of hydrogen from Fukushima, aiming to achieve carbon neutrality at the plant and, as a model plant for carbon neutrality in the DENSO Group, accelerate the realization of carbon neutrality in the production activities of the entire DENSO Group and contribute to carbon neutral manufacturing and a carbon neutral society.
*1: This project is supported by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).
*2: The afterburner furnace was developed jointly with Chugai Ro Co., Ltd.
*3: Nitrogen dioxides, such as nitrogen monoxide (NO) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2)