Canada's Next Hydrogen ties up with Hyundai to develop cost-efficient green hydrogen production solution

By Lim Chang-won Posted : July 9, 2021, 10:49 Updated : July 9, 2021, 10:49

[Courtesy of Hyundai Motor]

SEOUL -- South Korea's Hyundai auto group tied up with Next Hydrogen, a Canadian company specializing in water electrolysis technology, to develop a cost-efficient solution for the production of green hydrogen by using an alkaline water electrolysis system. After a pilot test in 2022, the two sides agreed to explore potential technological applications and commercial arrangements.

Green hydrogen is produced using water electrolysis powered by renewable energies. Water electrolysis, an important process to produce hydrogen. Due to high production costs, hydrogen companies are researching ways to advance water electrolysis technologies for producing green hydrogen more economically.

Next Hydrogen and the Hyundai auto group will jointly develop an alkaline water electrolysis system and its related stack. The alkaline water electrolysis system can produce large-scale hydrogen and use relatively inexpensive catalysts. It electrolyzes water using an alkaline electrolyte such as potassium hydroxide (KOH) or sodium hydroxide (NaOH). The enhanced performance of stacks can be operated at high current density and produce green hydrogen economically.

The auto group said an alkaline water electrolysis system equipped with a stack capable of carrying high current density can achieve higher economic efficiency by producing more hydrogen while taking up the same area. The group's component technology related to electrodes, bipolar plates and current collectors would be combined with Next Hydrogen’s design technology. Hyundai would oversee the test performance of the new stack.

"This partnership is expected to accelerate efforts to address the incredible emerging opportunities in sustainable transportation globally," Next Hydrogen CEO Raveel Afzaal said in a statement on July 9. The partnership underlines the auto group's push for the establishment of a robust hydrogen industry ecosystem.

"This partnership is another leap forward for our hydrogen business and will be our first step into the alkaline water electrolysis market," said Oh Jae-hyuk, who heads the auto group's energy business development. Hyundai has stepped up efforts to develop a next-generation hydrogen fuel cell system that can be applied to various forms of mobility such as urban air mobility, automobiles, vessels and trains.
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