Korea Builds Hydrogen Plant that Converts Carbon Monoxide (CO) to Hydrogen Using Marine Microorganisms

By November 6, 2019 2   min read  (386 words)

November 6, 2019 |

Western Power Korea Hydrogen Plant

A hydrogen plant capable of operating 2,200 hydrogen cars per year was built -Converting carbon monoxide (CO) to eco-friendly hydrogen energy using marine microorganisms

The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries completed the ‘Marine Bio-Hydrogen Demonstration Plant’ that can produce 330 tons of hydrogen per year and held the completion ceremony at Korea Western Power Headquarters in Taean, Chungnam on November 6 (Wed).

Marine Bio-Hydrogen Demonstration Plant is a facility that applies ‘Bio-hydrogen production technology’ developed by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, investing KRW 34 billion from 2009 to this year. This technology converts carbon monoxide, a source of air pollution, into environmentally friendly hydrogen energy using marine microorganisms in the deep sea. When the plant is fully operational, it can produce about 330 tonnes of hydrogen per year, which is capable of running about 2,200 hydrogen cars.* Annual hydrogen consumption of one hydrogen car 150kg (annual driving distance 15,000km, fuel economy 100km / kg applied).

Since 2010, the Korea Institute of Marine Science and Technology has identified the principle that marine microorganisms found in the deep sea near Papua New Guinea use hydrogen monoxide to produce hydrogen. In 2017, the pilot plant (6kg / day) was built and successfully produced hydrogen for more than one month in a row.

Since then, Kyungdong Engineering Co., Ltd. began construction of the plant and completed the construction of the plant in September of this year. In the future, “we plan to verify the economics and safety of the plant through continuous operation for more than 6 months.”

This is the first example of the development of bio-hydrogen production technology to the scale (about 1 ton/day) that can confirm the commercialization beyond the laboratory level.

The plant is capable of continuously producing hydrogen without causing environmental pollution. It is expected to be used as a next-generation energy source that will lead the hydrogen economy if it is economically secured through commercialization studies.

“We plan to continue the follow-up research on using waste resources as raw materials in addition to industrial by-product gas to continuously develop marine bio-hydrogen production technology and expand the supply base,” said Oh Un-yeol, director of marine policy at the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries.

South Korea plans include increasing the number of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles to about 80,000 units by 2022.

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