First Fuel Cell Power Plant Using Hydrogen from Plastic Waste

SGH2 Energy Global, GS E&C and KOSPO/Southern Power announced a memorandum of understanding to jointly develop, design, build, own and operate the world’s first fuel cell power plant that uses hydrogen produced from plastic waste in Ulsan, Korea.

The agreement comes on the heels of the United Nations’ historic resolution signed by 175 countries to develop a first-of-its-kind global treaty to restrict plastic waste, which has become a pervasive and pressing environmental issue, particularly in the ocean.

The Ulsan Plastics to H2 Power (ULSAN H2) Project will feature SGH2’s proprietary plasma-enhanced gasification technology (SPEG), which will use plastic waste to create hydrogen as a fuel to replace natural gas and coal for power production and reduces both carbon emissions and air pollutants from the combustion of fossil fuels, such as NOx, SOx and lung-damaging particulate matter.

Hydrogen produced by SPEG is three times cheaper to produce than hydrogen produced using electrolysis. SGH2 hydrogen is cost competitive with “gray” hydrogen produced from fossil fuels, such as natural gas.

The plant will produce 99.9999 percent pure hydrogen that will be fed into a stationary fuel cell facility for zero-combustion power generation.

As a major Korean port city, Ulsan is capable of providing a steady, large-scale supply of industrial waste plastic as feedstock. The power generated by the stationary, zero-combustion fuel cell system will be purchased by KOSPO/Southern Power, a major electric utility and an affiliate of KEPCO, through a long-term power purchasing agreement.

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