Canada| South Korea| Hyundai and Kia to collaborate with Next Hydrogen to develop alkaline water electrolysis system

Jul 12, 2021

Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Corporation have signed a memorandum of understanding with Next Hydrogen Corporation, a Canadian company specializing in water electrolysis technology and a subsidiary of Next Hydrogen Solutions Inc. (TSXV: NXH).

Under the agreement, the companies will jointly develop an alkaline water electrolysis system and its related stack for the purpose of generating green hydrogen economically.

Today it is expensive and time consuming to produce clean hydrogen. Due to this reason, Hyundai Motor, Kia, and Next Hydrogen are looking to improve the price competitiveness of clean hydrogen in consideration of regional climate and environmental characteristics. The companies, which are expanding their base by examining the strengths and weaknesses of various water electrolysis technologies, agreed to explore the possibility of an alkaline water electrolysis system among various water electrolysis technologies this time.

Among the various methods of water electrolysis, the alkaline water electrolysis system is regarded as technologically one of the most rigorously tested and proven means with a long track record of research and development. Also, it has the advantage of being able to produce large-scale hydrogen and using relatively inexpensive catalysts, making facility costs low.

The aim is to advance stack-related technologies that are at the core of the alkaline water electrolysis system to reduce the cost of building the system, and maintaining/operating the system. The key benefit to be derived from the project is that by enhancing the performance of stack-related technologies in the alkaline water electrolysis process, it will be possible to develop a new stack which can be operated at high current density and produce green hydrogen economically.

Read more: USA: Project to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen from $5 to $1 per kilogram in one decade

Read  more: Russia could produce “grey” hydrogen at a production cost of $1-2 per kg

The newly developed stack will use Hyundai Motor and Kia’s component technology related to electrode bipolar plates and current collectors, combined with Next Hydrogen’s design technology. Hyundai Motor and Kia will also oversee the test performance of the new stack. A pilot test is planned for next year, and the companies will also explore potential technological applications and commercial arrangements.

Among the varieties of hydrogen produced by different methods, the conveniently called “green” hydrogen is one of the cleanest varieties, generating zero carbon emissions, as it is produced using water electrolysis powered by renewable energies such as offshore wind. Hailed as the “fuel of the future” for its eco-friendliness, green hydrogen has the potential to revolutionize the world’s industrial and transport sectors.

Apart from green hydrogen, the so-called “grey” hydrogen is made with fossil fuels and emits CO2 into the air as they combust, while the so-called “blue” hydrogen is produced the same way, but its carbon-capture technologies prevent CO2 from being released into the air and instead store carbon dioxide deep underground.

Due to high production costs, many hydrogen companies around the world are researching ways to advance their water electrolysis technologies for producing green hydrogen more economically. This common goal has brought Hyundai Motor Group and Next Hydrogen together to develop the technology as a more cost-efficient solution.


Author: KS / Source: Next Hydrogen / Photo: Unsplash