Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has unveiled plans to build a hydrogen power demonstration facility.

The Takasago Hydrogen Park will be co-located at the company’s gas turbine development and manufacturing facility at its Takasago Machinery Works in Japan’s Hyogo prefecture, to support the commercialisation of gas turbines using hydrogen as fuel.

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Mitsubishi claims the facility will be the world’s first centre for validation of hydrogen-related technologies, from hydrogen production to power generation.

The facility will be established by Mitsubishi Power, which has already achieved 30% hydrogen co-firing for large frame gas turbines, using a J-Series air-cooled class turbine.

It intends to use the facility, which is expected to start up in 2023, to commercialise small and large frame gas turbines and is targeting 100% hydrogen-firing turbines by 2025, with testing of 100% hydrogen firing using an H-25 class turbine.

The Takasago Hydrogen Park will be built adjacent to Mitsubishi’s T-Point 2 combined-cycle power plant validation facility.

For the combustion chamber, which the company said is a key component of hydrogen gas turbines, it will create a workflow that includes development at its Research & Innovation Center, design, production of an actual machine at the manufacturing plant and validation testing at the demonstration facility.

Completing the development cycle within the same plant allows “quicker and more certain product development and commercialisation”.

Turquoise hydrogen

In addition to exploring the hydrogen fuelling of gas turbines, the Takasago Hydrogen Park will be used to test and demonstrate operations of other technologies, such as hydrogen production and storage using water electrolysis.

Mitsubishi said the park will also be used to test and verify other “next-generation” hydrogen production technologies, such as turquoise hydrogen, which is made using a process called methane pyrolysis to produce hydrogen and solid carbon.

The Japanese giant has been investing in turquoise hydrogen in recent years.

It completed a capital investment in US clean hydrogen player Monolith in 2020, then last year it invested in Eni-backed tech start-up C-Zero, which is developing a form of methane pyrolysis that uses thermocatalysis to extract the carbon in natural gas as a dense solid.

“As part of the energy transition strategy, MHI group is building a value chain for hydrogen, from production to use, through the further integration and advancement of the existing energy structure and hydrogen-related technologies,” Mitsubishi said.

“By further developing this approach and linking it to many different types of industries centred on hydrogen, MHI aims to establish a ‘hydrogen ecosystem’ that will form the basis of a sustainable society, and accelerate its commercialisation through verification at Takasago Hydrogen Park.”