Hyundai Oilbank sees a future in hydrogen fuel-cell separators

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Hyundai Oilbank sees a future in hydrogen fuel-cell separators

Hyundai Oilbank's refining facilities for hydrogen in Seosan, South Chungcheong [HYUNDAI OILBANK]

Hyundai Oilbank's refining facilities for hydrogen in Seosan, South Chungcheong [HYUNDAI OILBANK]

Hyundai Oilbank will start mass producing separators for hydrogen fuel cells from 2023.
 
The oil refiner, 74.1 percent owned by Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings, said Thursday it will build facilities for the separators in Seosan, South Chungcheong, this year and test run the products in 2022 in partnership with carmakers. 
 
Separators are film-like components that ensure a stable flow of hydrogen within fuel cells.
 
The oil refining company's efforts to be more environment-friendly have been largely focused on hydrogen.
 
"The entry barrier for electric vehicle batteries is relatively high, but it is not for hydrogen fuel-cell systems," the company said in a release. "A recent report from the Export-Import Bank of Korea says that global hydrogen fuel-cell system market will grow by 30 percent every year to reach 50 trillion won by 2050. Korea still relies heavily on core components for the fuel-cell systems, such as electrolytes"  
 
Hyundai Oilbank recently built refining facilities in Seosan to produce hydrogen with 99.999 percent purity. It can be used for fuel cell electric vehicles.  
 
Hydrogen produced as byproduct of oil refining is not pure enough to be used for fuel-cell electric vehicles.  
 
The refining facilities will be able to produce 3,000 kilograms of 99.999 percent pure hydrogen per day, which is enough to power about 600 Hyundai Motor Nexos, according to Hyundai Oilbank.  
 
From 2030, Hyundai Oilbank aims to sell 500 billion won annually hydrogen fuel-cell-related products and achieve operating profit of at least 100 billion won from that business.  
 
In the long-term, Hyundai Oilbank plans to work on hydrogen fuel cells for buildings and heavy equipment.  
 
Utilizing the refined hydrogen, Hyundai Oilbank plans to establish 180 chargers around the country by 2030.  
 
“Hyundai Oilbank is pushing for eco-friendly business including manufacturing materials for solar panels and sustainable aviation fuel,” said Kang Dal-ho, CEO of Hyundai Oilbank on Thursday.
 
“The company will expand investment in blue hydrogen, white bio and eco-friendly materials.”
 
Blue hydrogen is a type of hydrogen produced from fossil sources, such as natural gas, but produces less carbon compared to grey hydrogen by utilizing carbon capture and storage technologies. White bio refers to utilizing renewable energy sources to make chemical materials.
 

BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr[
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