POSCO plans to secure capabilities in the hydrogen industry through technological advancements and business collaboration in the development, introduction, and use of green hydrogen from other countries.
POSCO signed an agreement with KIST (Korea Institute of Science and Technology, President Seok-Jin Yoon) and RIST (Research Institute of Science and Technology) on March 18 to encourage research collaboration in the hydrogen market.
“POSCO will succeed in commercialising technology that enables ammonia extraction from hydrogen, a crucial technology necessary for using hydrogen oil, and contribute to advancing the green hydrogen age in Korea,” said Ju-Ik Cho, Head of POSCO Hydrogen Business Division, at the gathering.
Several technology, such as hydrogen liquefaction, ammonia synthesis, and other emerging developments, are currently being explored as methods of transporting hydrogen. Ammonia synthesis is the most effective of these methods. This is because as hydrogen is transferred to ammonia, there is no need to build up a new transportation delivery network, and the shipping loss rate is minimal.
While the technology for synthesising hydrogen into ammonia has been commercialised, the technology for extracting hydrogen from ammonia is also in its infancy.
As a result, POSCO aims to boost its competitiveness in the green hydrogen market by encouraging technological development to remove hydrogen from ammonia in vast amounts, in partnership with KIST and RIST. Through this breakthrough, the firm will be able to import renewable hydrogen from other countries as a raw material and energy source for domestic industry and power plants in the future.
Last year, KIST developed a method for extracting high-purity hydrogen from ammonia. KIST hopes to develop a catalyst in collaboration with POSCO that will allow for effective hydrogen extraction from ammonia.
RIST is developing a commercial-grade method for large-scale ammonia hydrogen production.
POSCO has signed a commercial agreement with Origin Energy, Australia’s largest electricity and gas supplier, on March 8 to introduce ammonia, which is required for green hydrogen usage in Korea. This is the second time POSCO has teamed up with a green hydrogen project outside of Korea, following a deal with Fortescue Metal Group in December.
Origin Energy is currently developing a project in Tasmania, Australia, to generate 70,000 tonnes of renewable hydrogen per year using 500MW of hydroelectric power.
By the end of 2021, POSCO and Origin Energy will partner on a feasibility report for the plant. Both firms plan to execute the project at full scale if it is determined to be successful. The plan is for hydrogen manufactured in Australia to be synthesised into ammonia, which will then be used by POSCO to collect and distribute hydrogen.
POSCO’s latest green hydrogen business concept involves producing hydrogen by water electrolysis using alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power. To maximise production, hydrogen is converted to ammonia, which is then transported and deposited. Finally, hydrogen is processed and used as a raw material as well as a source of energy in industrial and power plants.
POSCO intends to pave the groundwork for a green hydrogen supply chain that includes manufacturing, transportation, storage, and application by continuing to promote the hydrogen market, including technological collaboration in extracting ammonia hydrogen and involvement in green hydrogen initiatives. POSCO will also develop products and technologies for hydrogen storage and transportation in order to be a leader in the field.
Meanwhile, POSCO revealed its vision of being a green hydrogen corporation that leads the hydrogen economy in December 2020, with the ultimate aim of creating a 5 million tonne hydrogen manufacturing capacity and 30 trillion KRW in hydrogen sales by 2050.