With the help of British and Japanese technology, the United Arab Emirates hopes to host the region’s first hydrogen waste generating plant. In this light, the Bee’ah Group (the foremost sustainability firm in the Middle East), the British “Chinook Sciences” (the firm specializing in waste-to-energy technologies), and the Japanese firm Air Water (the firm specializing in works related to natural resources and conservation, as well as the production of industrial gases) signed an MoU to collaborate on the development of hydrogen fuel cells and the recycling of plastic and wood scraps.
The tripartite coalition has agreed to develop and build the first waste-to-hydrogen power plant in the Middle East in the Emirate of Sharjah, with the option to study the feasibility of establishing more such stations in the region. When operational, the station will process discarded plastic and wood into green hydrogen cells that may be used to power Bee’ah Group’s fleet of vehicles. The Bee’ah Group’s wealth of knowledge in waste management, material recovery, and recycling will be complemented by the skills of the project’s other two partners: “Chinook Sciences,” which focuses on turning trash into useful energy through its patented “Rodex” technology based on gasification and pyrolysis; and “Air Water,” which has created cutting-edge and novel methods of water purification.
The first waste hydrogen plant will include a dispenser to supply green hydrogen to several vehicles. In order to reach this proactive and advanced stage, Air Water will produce hydrogen fuel cells based on its advanced hydrogen purification technologies. The gas extracted through Chinook Sciences’ Rodex technology, which includes gasification and pyrolysis, will be piped into a hydrogen purification system to produce hydrogen for PEM fuel cells, which comply with ISO standards. 14687.
Plans to implement the first hydrogen production plant from waste in the Middle East come as part of the UAE’s efforts to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. During its participation in the Climate Summit COP 26 held in Glasgow last year (2021), the UAE announced its strategy for climate neutrality by 2050, making it the first country in the Middle East to draw a roadmap to achieve this ambitious goal, and to lead the environmental scene in the region through qualitative and distinguished achievements. In light of the clear vision, the UAE plans to export green hydrogen by harnessing the latest technologies to produce hydrogen fuel cells. The Sharjah waste-to-hydrogen plant will also contribute to the disposal of thousands of tons of carbon dioxide annually.
“The waste-to-hydrogen plant is a qualitative innovation that is in accordance with Bee’ah Group’s direction to address difficulties associated to specific types of non-recyclable trash, including wood and plastic,” said Khaled Al Huraimel, chief executive officer of Bee’ah Group. Also, “the development of hydrogen fuel cells is a great answer for the future of emissions-free transportation,” he said. He elaborated on how the United Arab Emirates’ goal of consolidating green hydrogen production and its sustainability is complementary to the idea for the first plant to manufacture hydrogen from garbage. Together with Chinook Sciences, we want to narrow the gap between waste treatment and pyrolysis. The Japanese company “Air Water” will also offer cutting-edge hydrogen purifying technology. When asked about the alliance’s potential impact on the environment and economic growth, he responded, “We are extremely sure that the alliance’s expertise will establish new standards in the area and the world for the manufacturing of green hydrogen and fuel cells.” Since 2004, the engineering department in Air Water, New Jersey has collaborated with Chinook Sciences to advance Rodex technologies including pyrolysis, a cutting-edge heat treatment method. The joint venture with Bee’ah Group will be the first plant to create hydrogen from trash in the Middle East, and it will be a success thanks to the combined expertise of the two organizations.
For his part, Chairman of the Board, Co-Founder of Chinook Sciences Group, Dr. Refaat Shalaby, said that the fuel cells produced at the waste-to-hydrogen plant must be of high quality, and therefore the hydrogen purification stage is pivotal to ensure the quality of the extracted fuel. He pointed out that Air Water has extensive experience in hydrogen purification and purification of impurities to produce high-quality fuel. The company is also familiar with the Rodex system, including pyrolysis and gas conversion. Airwater hydrogen purification technology can be applied to various gases to produce high-quality hydrogen cells from non-recyclable waste such as wood and plastic. He added, “In cooperation with partners, we are optimistic about the future and the introduction of a new and innovative model for hydrogen production,” according to the Emirates News Agency.
Executive Vice President and COO Ryosuke Matsubayashi of Air Water added, “Air Water has been operating for years in global markets in the field of manufacturing and selling hydrogen gas and, thanks to its advanced and modern technologies, the company currently has a high market share in the field of hydrogen gas in the market.” Japan, which is already dominant in the North American market for devices involving liquid hydrogen. Using the most cutting-edge methods for hydrogen production, separation, recovery, purification, liquefaction, and transportation, he continued, “our company aims to promote the uses of green hydrogen and get rid of carbon, and therefore assure a bright future for members of society.”
Also, he said, “We are pleased with the existing partnership with Chinook Sciences for the production of hydrogen according to the latest technologies of the era, and we are very confident that the integration of efforts and the activation of the mechanisms that we have developed over the past years will ultimately allow us, in the end, and through cooperation with Bee’ah Group, to enhance the level of sustainability in the UAE.” For his part, he said, “We look ahead with excitement to the future, and we look forward to a fruitful and prolonged relationship between the three partners, which will favorably reflect on the environmental level globally.”
The Sharjah waste-to-hydrogen facility reportedly began operations for the first time in May of 2021, thanks to the efforts of Bee’ah Group and Chinook Sciences. The two companies later revealed more plans for the project’s launch, and the station’s potential will make it easier for Bee’ah Group to reach its goal of completely diverting waste away from landfills and reducing the risk of harmful carbon emissions in advance of future cities by providing them with clean energy and the most cutting-edge international technologies. In 2030, the world’s production of green hydrogen is projected to be worth more than $1 trillion, and the country aspires to become a leading exporter of green hydrogen by capturing 25% of the global market.