Posco, a Korean steelmaker, which has been actively exploring ways to integrate green hydrogen into its steelmaking, has signed an agreement (18th March) with KIST (Korea Institute of Science and Technology) and RIST (Pohang Institute of Industrial Science and Technology) to cooperate for the promotion of hydrogen, H2Bulletin reports.
Posco has been trying to produce hydrogen locally as well as outsourcing from elsewhere. However, shipping hydrogen can be cumbersome and need a special infrastructure. One way to transport hydrogen is to convert it to ammonia for safe shipments and then revert it to hydrogen for consumption.
The impasse in this conversion and reversion process is that it is easy to synthesise hydrogen from ammonia as the technology is already commercialised, though the technology of extracting hydrogen from ammonia has yet to be commercialised.
Posco will work with KIST and RIST to develop a technology that can extract hydrogen from ammonia on an industrial scale. This would help Posco to source green hydrogen produced abroad and ship it safely for consumption in Korea.
Last year, KIST developed a technology that is capable of extracting high-purity hydrogen from ammonia. Through cooperation with Posco, they plan to make a catalyst to extract hydrogen from ammonia with high efficiency. Meanwhile, RIST is developing a commercial-grade process for large-capacity ammonia hydrogen extraction.
Early this month (8th March), POSCO agreed with Australia’s Origin Energy, Australia’s power and gas company, to produce ammonia to use green hydrogen in Korea. Origin plans to produce 70k tonnes/year of green hydrogen using 500 MW of hydroelectric power in Tasmania to make green ammonia. Both partners will conduct a feasibility study for the project this year to assess the project’s competitiveness. This is Posco second overseas green hydrogen production project following cooperation with FMG in December 2020.