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Hrein Energy Inc. is striving for commercialization of a storage system for wind power-derived hydrogen -- a method utilizing organic hydride as a high-efficiency high-density storage media for hydrogen obtained from renewable energies (such as wind power generation) through water electrolysis equipment.
The wind-power-derived hydrogen stored as organic hydride could be considered a factor contributing to saving of facility investment, because it can be transported by existing tankers and be distributed to existing gas stations, can be directly fueled into the tank of the organic hydride hydrogen vehicle and then, hydrogen is dehydrogenated and supplied on board as the fuel for the vehicles.
The company is also involved in developing and optimizing Hydrogen Boost approach in which hydrogen is added to the air intake of a vehicle to catalyze a more efficient burn of the petrol.
Note: "Hrein" means "clean" in Icelandic.
How it Works
Adding several percent of hydrogen dehydrogenated from organic hydride to the intake air resulted in a lean-burn (a state of combustion at/above the air-fuel ratio 25) whose concentration has never been made possible with gasoline alone. Consequently, the fuel efficiency was improved by 30% and the CO2 emissions cut, also by 30%. In addition, concentrations of CO and NOx have also been considerably reduced.
Organic hydrides are liquids under atmospheric temperature and pressure, yet offer relatively high hydrogen content: between 6-8 wt.%. An example of the reaction is:
The dehydrogenation reactor separates Methylcyclohexane (C7H14) into Toluene (C7H8) and 3H2.
Because the organic hydrides are liquids (not to be confused with liquefied hydrogen), the existing fuel storage, transportation and refueling infrastructure could basically be maintained were the liquids applied to transportation.
Organic chemical hydrides can freely produce and absorb H2 gas by catalytic reaction under mild conditions. Hrein developed a spray pulse reactor that feeds the reactant (the organic hydride liquid) to the hot catalyst surface as atomized liquid.
Organic hydride is liquid at normal temperature and pressure, making it easy to carry. Also, the amounts of hydrogen per mass and volume it can store are more than those of high pressure hydrogen or hydrogen storing alloys.
However, there are some disadvantages. For example, a high temperature of more than 300°C is necessary to extract hydrogen from organic hydride, causing a large energy loss. Also, it is difficult to downsize the dehydrogenation reactor designed for organic hydride.
- Japan External Trade Organization - Hrein Energy Introduction 15 Minutes. September 7, 2007
Hrein's coverage is between 08:45-15:11 and the cart test drive, 12:19-12:46. Japanese language only.
(2.04 Minutes) Organic Hydride Hydrogen Engine : DigInfo
- Hrein Energy has been researching and developing organic hydride hydrogen vehicles.
Organic hydride hydrogen vehicles use a hydrogen-gasoline blended fuel which is expected to improve fuel efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Hydrogen is used in fuel cell vehicles but presents difficulties when it comes to use. For example, if a small amount of hydrogen leaks into the air and comes in contact with even a minimal amount of static electricity, an explosion can occur. In addition, hydrogen must be cooled to an extremely low temperature of minus 253°C for liquefaction to occur.
In contrast, "organic hydride", which is an organic compound with bonded hydrogen, can be stored at room temperature under normal pressure. In addition, organic hydride can be easily produced and the hydrogen can be easily split off. The role of the hydrogen is to work as a combustion stimulant to foster efficient gasoline combustion.
Compared to fuel cell vehicles and hydrogen vehicles, organic hydride vehicles are next-generation fueled vehicles that are more likely to gain widespread use at a low cost because they are designed based on existing mass produced cars. (YouTube; March 4, 2008)
- The hydrogen produced from the wind power generation and water electrolyzer has far less CO2 emissions than that obtained by fossil fuel reforming. When the on-board dehydrogenation reactor and the wind power derived hydrogen storage system using organic hydrides become commercially available, mass transit/supply of the wind power derived hydrogen to hydrogen fueled cars and stationary FCs in distant places will be possible. By doing so, we can expect great amount of emission cuts, brake on the rise of fossil fuel import rate and improvement in energy self sufficiency rate. For instance, suppose we annually produce 140 mil Nm3 hydrogen from wind power generation systems of 0.3 mil kW capacity in Hokkaido and Tohoku (the northern blocs of Japan), and supply it as the fuel for over 0.14 mil fuel-cell cars per year in Kanto (Tokyo and its vicinity) area. Then, the amount of CO2 cuts is expected to be approximately 0.12 mil tons.
- Organic hydrides serve as storages that store hydrogen in chemical substances which are in liquid state under the atmospheric temperature and pressure. The hydrogen-storing organic hydrides share properties similar to those of kerosene, thus transportation and supply is easy and convenient by using existing oil or chemical tankers enabling low supply cost, compared with that of compressed hydrogen or liquid hydrogen.
- As to hydrogen utilization, we consider FC cars and stationary FC highly promising although some more time is needed until they are publicly used in the real sense. Therefore during this transitional stage, a little effort of using hydrogen as the blend material of gasoline for bifuel and/or altering the city gas engines to allow mixed combustion will promote and spread application of hydrogen derived from renewable sources such as sunlight and wind power, which means much more use of renewable energies and sooner entry into the market can be accelerated while allowing us to make immediate contribution to CO2 emission cuts.
- Cheap liquid organic materials like gasoline and kerosine
- High hydrogen capacity ( 6-8 wt.% )
- The Organic Hydride are recyclable in safety and good handling
- No emission of CO, CO2 or other by-products
- Conventional infrastructures such as storage tanks, shipping tankers, tank lorries and train cargos are available for the long-term storage and long-distance transportation.
- High-dense electricity storage and transportation of wind and solar powers.
- Hydrogen Stations
- FUTABA INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD., ITO RACING SERVICE CO.,LTD, and Dr. Ichikawa Masaru, a professor emeritus of Hokkaido University, successfully test-drove the world first organic hydride hydrogen vehicle: a commercially available 1,200 cc engine vehicle retrofitted with a high-performance "on-board dehydrogenation reactor? that enables dehydrogenation of organic hydride utilizing the heat from the exhaust system and rapid supply of hydrogen to the engine. The development, evaluation, prototyping and test-drive of this organic hydride hydrogen car was performed through the collaboration of FUTABA INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD. (NSE & TSE first section company, Okazaki, President: Itsuo KOZUKA TEL: 0564-31-2211), ITO RACING SERVICE CO., LTD, (Okazaki, President: Takeshiro ITO, TEL: 0564-84-2961) and Alumi Surface Technologies. CO., Ltd. (Toride, President: Hiroshi YAMAGUCHI TEL: 0297-78-2541) (Feb.26, 2008)
- the world's first test drive of a 50cc engine cart with an on-board dehydrogenation reactor capable of dehydrogenating organic hydrides and feeding the hydrogen obtained into the engine which was made possible by optimal use of the waste heat from the exhaust system, with the cooperation of FUTABA INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD. and ITO RACING SERVICE CO., LTD in development, evaluation and fabrication of the said prototype cart. The test drive was conducted in the circuit of SPA Nishiura Motor Park in Gamagori, Aichi Prefecture on August 10, 2007.
Company: Hrein Energy, Inc.
Akira KOIKEDA, President
Makoto Okuda, Director
Inventors: Professor M. Ichikawa, Dr. Fumiaki Taguchi
The Organic Hydride technology has been developed by Professor M. Ichikawa of Hokkaido University since 2000. The Organic Hydrides are utilized as the efficient and high-dense materials for hydrogen storage, transportation and supply to fuel cell systems in hydrogen society.
Hrein Energy promotes a technology based on Clostridium beijerinkii, strain AM21B, which was isolated from termites by Dr. Fumiaki Taguchi, a professor emeritus of Kitasato University to practice the system of direct hydrogen production using various organic wastes such as rice bran, wheat bran and peel of apples, potatoes and carrots.
- Hydrogen Storage / H Boosting >
Cars with a green conscience - Makoto Okuda in Hokkaido, Japan and director of Hrein Energy, says: "Adding about 3% of hydrogen to the intake air results in a lean burn, which has never been made possible with gasoline alone. We have improved fuel efficiency by 30% and reduced CO2 emissions by 30% in recent tests." His company develops systems to make, store and supply hydrogen and hopes to have a system on the market in two to three years. (Guardian UK; Aug,21, 2008)
- Hrein Energy in Wind Hydrogen Test - A Japan-based developer of hydrogen storage systems based on organic hydrides, is working with the Wakkanai Alternative and Renewable Energy Study Group to test a system that will store hydrogen produced through wind-powered electrolysis of water in Hrein’s organic hydrides.(Green Car Congress; July 29, 2008)
- Organic Hydride Improves Gasoline Efficiency - For the driving test, a Nissan March, whose displacement is 1.2 liter was modified. The car is equipped with an "on-board dehydrogenation reactor," which extracts hydrogen from organic hydride (methylcyclohexane) by utilizing the waste heat from the exhaust system and supplies hydrogen with the engine. (Tech-On; Feb. 28, 2008)
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