Syzygy Plasmonics, LOTTE Chemical and LOTTE Fine Chemical, and Sumitomo Corporation of Americas (SCOA) announced a joint development agreement today to test a fully electric chemical reactor for clean hydrogen production.
The reactor will be installed and brought online in the second half of 2023 at LOTTE Chemical HQ facilities in Ulsan, South Korea. The agreement clearly identifies LOTTE Chemical HQ and SCOA as early adopters of disruptive technology and reinforces their position as leading the effort to decarbonise Korea.
With the announcement of their 2030 Vision in May 2022, LOTTE Chemical HQ defined clear pathways and directives for leading decarbonisation efforts while simultaneously achieving record revenue growth. Among other climate-focused goals, the company is setting the stage to advance the hydrogen economy in Korea. Plans include importing green ammonia that can be readily transported and stored before it is converted into clean hydrogen, with expectations of generating 1.2 million tons of hydrogen per year domestically by 2030.
The traditional thermal “cracking” of ammonia uses high heat and pressure to convert it to hydrogen gas. The heat required to drive this process is achieved by burning fossil fuels, making ammonia cracking extremely carbon intensive. Using fully electric reactors allows hydrogen producers to reduce or eliminate their reliance on combustion as the energy source for processing ammonia.
SCOA first invested in Syzygy in 2019 and since that time, the companies have worked together to deploy its cutting-edge technologies. A pioneer in industrial decarbonisation, Syzygy has developed platform reactor technology that uses light from ultra-high-efficiency LEDs to chemical power reactions by removing the need for heat from burning fuel, which is how traditional carbon-intensive chemical reactors are powered.
Trevor Best, Syzygy CEO, said, “We have demonstrated the ability to replace heat from combustion with renewable electricity in the manufacture of foundational chemicals like hydrogen.”
Shinichi Hasegawa, GM at Sumitomo Corporation of Americas, said, “Partnering with best-in-class companies like Syzygy and LOTTE Chemical HQ is one of the important steps we are taking to make good on our commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and lead the decarbonisation of society.”