Hyundai Rotem to install second hydrogen extractor at special demonstration zone

By Lim Chang-won Posted : October 18, 2022, 13:10 Updated : October 18, 2022, 16:38

[Courtesy of Hyundai Rotem]

SEOUL -- Hyundai Rotem, a subsidiary of South Korea's Hyundai auto group, will install its second hydrogen extractor at a fusion charging station that uses biogas to produce and supply high-purity hydrogen after its first extractor showed a stable run with an operating rate of 99 percent in a special demonstration zone in Chungju, some 90 kilometers (56 miles) south of Seoul.

In the demonstration zone that opened in March 2022, Hyundai Rotem installed its first hydrogen extractor for South Korea's first mother station that charges cars and supplies hydrogen to nearby charging stations using tube trailers. The first extractor is based on methane gas generated in the process of food waste disposal, while the second one will use biogas generated from sewage sludge. 

Hyundai Rotem will demonstrate the design and manufacturing technology of high-efficiency carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) devices. "We will do our best to ensure South Korea's first hydrogen charging station using biogas will be operated and installed stably," an unnamed Hyundai Rotem official said in a statement on October 18.  

Hyundai Rotem said its hydrogen extractor with a localization rate of 90 percent is cheaper than foreign products. The government has announced its goal of building 1,200 hydrogen charging stations by 2040. Hyundai Rotem would produce core facilities necessary for building hydrogen infrastructure, such as mobile hydrogen charging stations and dispensers that inject hydrogen into vehicles.

Biogas is normally produced by anaerobic digestion with anaerobic organisms. A food treatment center in Chungju decomposes food waste with microorganisms in an anaerobic digestive tank to produce biogas containing methane and carbon dioxide. Producing hydrogen with biogas that was previously burned and eliminated can contribute to stabilizing hydrogen prices due to the large effect of reducing greenhouse gases and low production costs.

The wide uptake of using biogas as a renewable energy source has been hindered because of high costs. For sustainable energy transition, the Seoul government has vowed to accelerate the popularization and adoption of biogas by lowering legal hurdles that have hampered the operation of biogas manufacturing.
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