Picture used for illustrative purpose only.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Building on several breakthroughs achieved in its waste-to-hydrogen demonstration plant, BEEAH, the Middle East’s sustainability pioneer, Chinook Hydrogen, a UK-based innovator of waste-to-fuel technologies, and Air Water Gas Solutions, a US-based Industrial gas company and a subsidiary of Air Water Inc., a leading Japanese conglomerate with advanced industrial gases technologies, have entered a joint development agreement (JDA) to develop the world’s first commercial-scale waste-to-hydrogen plant in Sharjah, UAE.
In the presence of Sharif Al Olama, Under-Secretary for Energy and Petroleum Affairs at the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MoEI), the JDA was signed at the UAE Pavilion, COP28, by Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO of BEEAH Group, Dr. Rifat Chalabi, CEO and Co-Founder of Chinook Hydrogen, and Ishmael Chalabi, President and CEO of Air Water Gas Solutions.
The JDA will build on the success of the hydrogen-from-waste demonstration plant, which has achieved major breakthroughs by demonstrating an attractive, carbon-negative solution to produce green hydrogen from waste.
The demonstration plant transforms various organic-based waste, including Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), non-recyclable plastics and wood waste, into super green hydrogen that is connected to a Toyota fuel-cell unit that generates power from the hydrogen produced, similar to the fuel cell installed in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles such as the Toyota Mirai.
"We believe achieving zero-waste to landfill goes hand-in-hand with achieving net-zero emissions. With the launch of this waste-to-hydrogen demonstration plant, we have achieved a solution that we can address the challenge of waste and carbon emissions. It can also be scaled and replicated in countries around the world, and together, we will now begin with a commercial-scale plant in Sharjah,” said Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO of BEEAH.
Officials during the signing of joint development agreement.
"I would like to congratulate Chinook Hydrogen and Air Water Gas Solutions for working with us to realise this milestone, which not only supports our objective of creating a large commercial waste-to-hydrogen plant in the UAE, but also demonstrates an economically and environmentally attractive hydrogen production solution that can be easily adopted worldwide.”
The demonstration plant benefits from Chinook Hydrogen’s RODECS pyrolysis technology, developed and optimised over 23 years with 18 gasification units installed world-wide. The technology is heavily patented, using "Active-Hydropyrolysis” to process a wide range of post-consumer organic-based wastes in batches, including MSW, non-recyclable plastics, sewage sludge, biomass and waste wood feedstocks to produce syngas.
Chinook Hydrogen’s RODECS system is the only one in the world to process waste with low energy content to yield syngas with hydrogen concentrations of around 50 per cent-vol. In this system, the hydrogen-rich syngas is further processed by advanced hydrogen refinement technology developed by Air Water to produce high-purity fuel-cell grade hydrogen for use in transportation, fine chemical and industrial applications. The plant can also capture and store carbon dioxide from the syngas, making the process carbon-negative.
"It is with immense pride and gratitude that I reflect on a journey marked by unwavering dedication and unparalleled innovation. This breakthrough hydrogen technology that we have developed is a testament to the hard work and ingenuity of the Chinook team over the last 23 years and the decades-long collaboration with our partners BEEAH and Air Water Gas Solutions. That is 23 years of innovation wrapped by persistence and dedication,” said Dr. Rifat Chalabi, Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Chinook Hydrogen.
"In the realm of green hydrogen technology, we have not only merely advanced or pushed boundaries, we have pioneered the world’s first plant that produces Super-Green-Hydrogen that can fuel hydrogen fuel cells either for power generation or emissions-free mobility.”
The RODECS pyrolysis and gasification system in the demonstration facility is capable of producing up to 1.5 tonnes per day of hydrogen. The combined Active-Hydropyrolysis process controlled by the Hydrogen-Intelligence system ensures the production of the "Super-Green-Hydrogen”, which offers one of the world’s lowest levelised cost of hydrogen (LCoH) today. Chinook Hydrogen, Air Water Gas Solutions, and BEEAH plan to implement a similar process and system, establishing the world's first commercial-scale, hydrogen-from-waste facility in Sharjah, UAE, with an initial capacity of seven tonnes per day. The goal is to progressively augment the Sharjah plant capacity to reach 20 tonnes per day and extend the concept and innovation behind this plant throughout the Middle East.
Aligning with the UAE’s Net-Zero by 2050 Pathway, BEEAH has made significant strides in increasing landfill waste diversion rates and contributing to net-zero emissions. Its integrated waste management complex comprises 12 facilities, which process nearly all types of households, commercial and industrial waste, to produce recyclables, alternative fuels and alternative raw materials, enabling steadily increasing landfill waste diversion rates and contributions to the circular economy.
In May 2022, BEEAH inaugurated the Sharjah Waste-to-Energy plant, the first project of BEEAH’s joint venture with global renewable energy leader Masdar, which further drove landfill waste diversion to a new regional record of 90 percent and displaces 450,000 tonnes of CO2 a year.In addition to the decarbonisation of the transport industry and lowering emissions in the waste management sector, the planned waste-to-hydrogen plant in Sharjah is also strategically aligned with the UAE National Hydrogen Strategy 2050, which sets a goal of producing 1.4 million tonnes of hydrogen per annum by 2031 and aims to establish the nation as one of the world’s major hydrogen hubs.
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