The Netherlands – Port of Rotterdam Authority, Koole Terminals, Chiyoda Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation have signed an agreement to a joint feasibility study of a commercial-scale overseas import of hydrogen.
The hydrogen can be transported to one of Koole’s terminals in the port of Rotterdam utilizing Chiyoda’s hydrogen storage and transportation technology.
Shipping hydrogen is more challenging than shipping oil or coal. One option is to make it liquid by cryogenic process to minus 253 degrees. Another is to transform it into a carrier, like ammonia or methanol. Lastly it could be chemically combined in a so called liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC). Methylcyclohexane (MCH) is a LOHC. It maintains a stable liquid state under ambient temperature and pressure. As a means of storage and transportation of hydrogen, MCH is comparable with petroleum and petrochemical production in terms of the risks involved.
Chiyoda Corporation has developed the SPERAHydrogen technology to release hydrogen from MCH. MCH is produced from toluene through hydrogenation process. When hydrogen is generated from MCH, toluene produced simultaneously. This can be shipped back to be used as material of MCH again.
One of the major advantages of MCH over liquid hydrogen and ammonia as a hydrogen carrier is that it makes use of existing infrastructure and vessels, and is easier to handle. The feasibility study will take around one year. It is the ambition of the companies to import 100 to 200 ktpa hydrogen in 2025 and 300 to 400 ktpa in 2030.