In Japan, Tokyo Gas and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. are developing highly efficient hydrogen production units for cars and homes. The steam methane reforming units will include carbon dioxide capture features and will form a local hydrogen network.
Hydrogen will be supplied to fuel cell vehicles, homes and offices through a network of pipelines. Hydrogen and CO2 will be separated from the source methane. The “off gas” or gas left behind after the separation process will be cooled to – 20 C and the liquid CO2 will be collected and transported elsewhere.
Hydrogen and methane gas will be used to heat the unit. Tokyo Gas is stating that the hydrogen separation efficiency in this process is 81.4 percent or the highest known to date.
Tokyo Gas has been instrumental in developing the Japanese Hydrogen Highway system by putting up hydrogen fueling stations at different locations including the Senju station in the north. Tokyo Gas has also developed the first commercial hydrogen fuel cell cogeneration unit for the home.
Unlike natural gas utility companies in other countries, Tokyo Gas has stepped up to bat for a hydrogen-based transportation system and economy. By creating more efficient methods of separating out the CO2, Tokyo Gas is setting an example for other clean energy companies to follow.