Press Release
2021.9.28

Technical tie-up with US Syzygy for photocatalytic hydrogen reactor

Ultra-high performance distributed hydrogen production system to be implemented in Namie Town, Fukushima Prefecture

Aizawa High Pressure Concrete Co., Ltd. (Headquarters Tomakomai City, President: Yoshihiro Aizawa) has partnered with Syzygy Plasmonics Inc. (Syzygy), a startup in Texas, USA, to use ammonia, which is safer and easier to handle than hydrogen, as a "hydrogen carrier". We will deliver and embark on the practical application of next-generation hydrogen SS (service station) that manufactures and supplies fuel cell class hydrogen from ammonia with extremely little energy using a state-of-the-art photocatalyst reactor. The first container module type will be installed at our R & D-type manufacturing base "Fukushima RDM Center", which will open in Namie Town, Fukushima Prefecture in April 2023, and through field experiments, hydrogen and ammonia will be the key to opening up a hydrogen society. We will contribute to the construction of the value chain model.

■ Innovative photocatalytic technology

Syzygy is based on the world's highest performance plasmonic photocatalyst technology devised by Professor Harras and Professor Nordlander at Rice University in the United States, and the best CEOs have set up a development team with both professors as advisors. Raised and started a business in Houston. It is a leading startup that successfully raised 23 million UDS Series B funding in April this year.

We are aiming to put into practical use an LED photocatalyst technology called "antenna reactor" that combines conventional catalyst nanoparticles (reactors) and light-collecting plasmonic nanoparticles (antennas) with larger particles, and we are aiming to put 1 kg of hydrogen into just 23 kWh. We have demonstrated that hydrogen can be converted from ammonia with a high purity of 99.999%. This is an amazing power saving of 20% or less compared to the hydrogen production method by electrolysis of water, and it is a compact and environment-friendly distributed hydrogen production that is completely different from a large plant equipped with an internal combustion engine such as thermal power. It will pave the way for the system.

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We are planning to prototype a reactor unit using this innovative photocatalyst in the form of a container module and install it on the RDM premises to fully utilize hydrogen for on-site logistics such as lifts. We will implement a full-stream compact hydrogen station that integrates ammonia and electric power in the storage tank to produce and supply fuel cell grade hydrogen. The amount of ammonia required to produce 1 kg of hydrogen is 5.67 kg. Assuming a fuel cell-grade hydrogen production model of approximately 100 kg / day, the system configuration is as follows.

  Container module type photocatalytic hydrogen production reactor unit ②  Ammonia tank for 5.0 ton ③  Hydrogen tank for 0.5 ton ④  Hydrogen dispenser
 

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We are developing various technologies related to tower construction in order to support the spread of wind power generation, which is the main power source for renewable energy. So-called "green hydrogen" and "green ammonia", which are produced by electricity from the wind and do not generate CO2 in the production process, should be the leading energy in the carbon-neutral era. In order to realize a high-performance energy value chain in which wind, hydrogen, and ammonia are freely linked, we intend to cooperate widely with technology companies such as Syzygy to contribute to decarbonization.

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[To the media]

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(Contact for inquiries regarding this press release)

Director of Aizawa Institute of Technology: Ryo Aoki (080-2863-4151)
Senior Researcher, Aizawa Institute of Technology: Seiji Nakamura (080-5535-7841)