Hyundai wants to become number one in hydrogen with number twos
By Sourced Externally
January 14, 2024
The South Korean automaker wants to turn manure and old plastic into clean hydrogen as a potential energy source for the future.
Hyundai has recently announced its plans to manufacture “clean hydrogen” that is extracted from environmental pollutants.
At the 2024 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week, the South Korean automaker claimed “hydrogen energy will play a prominent role” in its climate objectives to be carbon neutral by 2050.
During its CES presentation, Hyundai said it’s looking into alternative hydrogen production technology via “resource circulation” methods, dubbed Waste-to-Hydrogen (W2H) and Plastic-to-Hydrogen (P2H).
According to the car giant, the W2H allegedly generates biogas through the fermentation of organic waste like food, sludge and manure – with the biogas undergoing an unspecified treatment to capture carbon dioxide and produce hydrogen.
The P2H method reportedly involves melting plastic waste that cannot be recycled and producing hydrogen by “removing unnecessary elements” via an unknown method.
The Waste-to-Hydrogen Hyundai initiative has already begun in Indonesia – with the country allegedly starting to establish its own hydrogen production hubs – and the automaker claims it is currently looking for the right area to build a hydrogen grid in West Java – an island between Sumatra and Bali where the Indonesian capital city of Jakarta is located.
While Hyundai has previously introduced zero-emissions vehicles through its electric car range – such as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6 series, Kona and Santa Fe electric variants – the South Korean automaker has not made its hydrogen-powered Nexo available from all dealerships.
Currently, the Hyundai Nexo is the only example of the brand creating a hydrogen model but it is only limited to select fleet and business consumers in Australia.
Additionally, Senior Vice President of Hyundai Chang Hwan Kim said in a media statement the car manufacturer is currently developing its version of a megawatt-scale polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolyser – a tool that chemically splits water into hydrogen and oxygen molecules – that is reportedly capable of green hydrogen production – and is due for a commercial launch “within the next few years.”
As part of its commitment towards climate-friendly solutions within the automotive industry, Hyundai Motor Group has expanded its HTWO company – which was previously a fuel cell system-based brand – into a “hydrogen value chain”, primarily focusing on the production, storage, transportation and utilisation of hydrogen gas.
The HTWO estimates it will off-take 3 million tonnes of hydrogen per year by 2035 – with Hyundai claiming this proposed hydrogen solution “goes beyond passenger cars, trucks and buses to include trams, special equipment, power generators and advanced air mobility.”
Jay Chang, the President and CEO of the Hyundai Motor Group said the brand’s commitment to hydrogen technology development is for humanity’s benefit.
“We [Hyundai] believe that science and humanity are two sides of the same coin; that advanced technology should also make people’s lives better. Clean hydrogen should be for everyone, powering everything, and available everywhere.”