In what be regarded as another spectacular event in the renewable energy cosmos, three of the leading specialty chemicals market players, namely AkzoNobel, Shell, and Evonik, are apparently on the verge of initiating green hydrogen technology collaborations. Sources state that these European firms are separately planning to establish electrolysis plants that would exclusively utilize renewable energy sources for hydrogen manufacturing.Evonik Industries, for the record, has recently signed a two-year research project dubbed as ‘artificial photosynthesis’ with Siemens. Reportedly, the project would be mainly focusing on electrolysis process that would be strictly powered by renewable sources to convert CO2 and water to carbon monoxide and hydrogen respectively, that could be later converted to specialty chemicals. Apparently, in the first phase of the project, both the organizations are planning to establish a test plant at Marl, Germany, within next three years, followed by the subsequent establishment of a commercial plant with a capacity of 20,000 metric tons/year. The project, encompassing 20 scholars under its canopy would receive a grant of USD 3.5 million from the Federal Ministry of Education & Research of Germany, as per the official confirmation by the specialty chemicals industry behemoth.
Meanwhile, AkzoNobel has also made it to the headlines with the announcement of its partnership with Dutch gas distributor, Gasunie New Energy, to focus on the same line of producing hydrogen by sustainable electrolysis. As per reliable sources, with this collaboration, both these firms are planning to build a water electrolysis plant of capacity 20 MW, which has the capacity to produce almost 3000 metric tons of hydrogen per year. Claimed to be the largest of its kind in Europe, the massive project is reported to get onboard in early 2020.
Shell, another acclaimed forerunner in specialty chemicals industry, highlighting its contribution in green hydrogen tech, has recently joined a consortium which include UK’s renowned proton exchange maker, ITM Power, with an aim to develop a water electrolysis plant of 10 MW capacity in Wesseling, capable of producing approximately 1300 metric tons of H2 per year.