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DENSO and DENSO Fukushima launch demonstration project to realize carbon-neutral plant using hydrogen

DENSO Corporation and DENSO Fukushima Corporation will start a demonstration project at DENSO Fukushima in March 2023 to produce and use green H2 at its plant in collaboration with Toyota Motor Corporation as part of the initiative to realize carbon-neutral manufacturing. Through the demonstration project, the two companies aim to build a model of local production for local consumption of H2 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, H2 and fuel. As part of such efforts, it has been developing technologies to produce and use H2, 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 H2 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 H2 as part of the initiative.

DENSO and DENSO Fukushima will embark on a demonstration project in collaboration with Toyota to produce green H2 at DENSO Fukushima’s plant and use the produced H2 in the plant gas furnace.

In terms of producing H2, proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzer system equipment developed by Toyota will be introduced to produce H2 through the electrolysis of water. Renewable energy derived from private power generation at DENSO Fukushima will be used to produce H2. 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 H2 more cheaply than before.

In terms of using H2, LP gas, which is used in the afterburner furnace to make the exhaust gases generated in the plant harmless, will be replaced by H2 produced in-house. Combustion of H2 at high temperature generates nitrous oxide (NOx) gas. The burner structure has been improved to achieve gentle mixing and combustion of H2 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 H2, local production for local consumption of H2, which aims to achieve self-consumption of H2 produced in-house, will help cut the transport cost, which is one of the issues in utilizing H2.

Through the demonstration project, we will build a model that can optimally introduce the required amount of H2 according to the size of the factories by establishing a package from H2 production to utilization. The project aims to expand the partnership to promote the use of H2 in the Fukushima region, with DENSO Fukushima serving as the hub, and spread the model of local production for local consumption of H2 from Fukushima Prefecture to the rest of Japan.

DENSO and DENSO Fukushima will spread the use of H2 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.