Honeywell Powers First-of-its-Kind Hydrogen Project

Japanese energy company ENEOS will develop the world’s first commercial scale Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC) project using Honeywell’s solution

“With more cost-effective long-distance transport, our Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier provides a method of more closely matching international supply and demand for hydrogen which enables hydrogen to play a critical role in the energy mix as we move toward lower-carbon economies.”

Those are the words of Ken West, President and CEO of Honeywell Energy and Sustainability Solutions. “By providing solutions to help overcome the challenges of hydrogen transportation, Honeywell is supporting ENEOS in transitioning to a hydrogen-powered future.”

This statement comes as news emerges that Honeywell today announced that ENEOS, a leading energy company in Japan, will develop the world’s first commercial scale Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC) project, using Honeywell technologies.

The LOHC solution enables the long-distance transportation of clean hydrogen and can help meet the growing requirements for hydrogen use. It also supports Honeywell’s alignment of its three main focuses of automation, the future of aviation and energy transition.

What is a LOHC solution?

In the Honeywell LOHC solution, hydrogen gas is combined chemically through the Honeywell Toluene Hydrogenation process into methylcyclohexane (MCH) — which Honeywell calls a convenient liquid carrier — compatible with existing infrastructure. 

Then, hydrogen will be exported from these specialist sites — much like the way petrochemical products are handled — to ENEOS in Japan in the form of MCH. It will then be recovered using the Honeywell MCH Dehydrogenation process and released for use. The toluene can be sent back for additional cycles.

This is one of a variety of hydrogen transportation projects on which Honeywell and ENEOS are joining forces. This is part of efforts to transition toward more environmentally-friendly energy sources.

Honeywell and the energy transition

A company firm in the belief that hydrogen is the future of a greener-focused energy world, Honeywell is investing heavily in exploring how it plays a key role in advancing the clean energy transition. It strongly advocates that Hydrogen’s potential as a clean fuel source is “tremendous”.

Hydrogen is expected to play a critical role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. For example, in the EU, Hydrogen is expected to play an important role in achieving objectives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2050. 

And over in the US, Hydrogen is widely recognised as a technology which is vital for the decarbonisation of the country’s economy, especially in sectors branded ‘hard-to-decarbonise’ such as steel, cement and fertiliser production, as well as transportation, off-grid power generation and the heating of buildings.

The main barrier with hydrogen and its wider implementation is because, in standard conditions, hydrogen is a flammable gas with low density and cannot be efficiently or easily transported. 

To transport it safely, most options rely on liquifying the hydrogen and using chemical carriers such as ammonia. These methods require additional infrastructure to both produce and transport hydrogen.

Honeywell is also at the forefront of backing hydrogen as a fuel for air travel. With hydrogen fuel cells already powering thousands of road vehicles, it envisions the commercial aviation world to not be lagging too much further behind.

“We anticipate the use of conventional jet aviation fuel will go away in the next 20-30 years,” said Phil Robinson, Senior Director of Zero-Emission Aviation at Honeywell. “The aviation industry is already moving to sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) made from renewable feedstocks, which is much cleaner, but still doesn’t get us to our ultimate goal of zero carbon emissions.

“Hydrogen can be used to generate power for all-electric and hybrid-electric propulsion systems and auxiliary power units, with water as the only byproduct.”

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