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Syzygy partners with LOTTE Chemical, LOTTE Fine Chemical, and SCOA for clean H2 production

Syzygy enters joint development agreement with LOTTE Chemical, LOTTE Fine Chemical and Sumitomo Corporation of Americas (Source: Syzygy)

Syzygy Plasmonics, LOTTE Chemical and LOTTE Fine Chemical (LOTTE Chemical HQ), and Sumitomo Corporation of Americas (SCOA) have announced a joint development agreement to test a fully electric chemical reactor for clean hydrogen production.

The reactor will be installed and brought online in the second half of 2023 at LOTTE Chemical HQ facilities in Ulsan, South Korea. The agreement is a clear identifier of LOTTE Chemical HQ and SCOA as early adopters of disruptive technology and reinforces their position as leading the effort to decarbonize Korea.

With the announcement of their 2030 Vision in May 2022, LOTTE Chemical HQ defined clear pathways and directives for leading decarbonization efforts while simultaneously achieving record revenue growth. Among other climate-focused goals, the company is setting the stage to advance the hydrogen economy in Korea. Plans include importing green ammonia that can be readily transported and stored before it is converted into clean hydrogen with expectation of generating 1.2 million tons of hydrogen per year domestically by 2030.

The traditional thermal "cracking" of ammonia uses high heat and pressure to convert it to hydrogen gas. The heat required to drive this process is achieved by burning fossil fuels, making ammonia cracking extremely carbon intensive. Using fully electric reactors gives hydrogen producers a way to reduce or eliminate their reliance on combustion as the energy source for processing ammonia.

SCOA first invested in Syzygy in 2019 and since that time, the companies have worked together to deploy its cutting-edge technologies. A pioneer in industrial decarbonization, Syzygy has developed platform reactor technology that uses light from ultra-high-efficiency LEDs to power chemical reactions by removing the need for heat from burning fuel, which is how traditional carbon-intensive chemical reactors are powered. Syzygy's process offers a new way to electrify chemical manufacturing and eliminate emissions associated with powering chemical processes. The company has demonstrated through extensive lab and pre-commercial-scale testing its ability to efficiently split ammonia and produce hydrogen gas without combustion. Development results show the technology will not only reduce the carbon footprint of hydrogen production but will also help reduce costs. The LOTTE Chemical HQ installation marks the first time the technology will be deployed at a commercial scale.

"Simply improving existing tech isn't enough to reach the world's decarbonization goals. Stopping climate change will require industries to reimagine what is possible," said Syzygy CEO Trevor Best. "Our technology expands the accepted paradigms of chemical engineering. We have demonstrated the ability to replace heat from combustion with renewable electricity in the manufacture of foundational chemicals like hydrogen. Today LOTTE Chemical HQ, SCOA, and Sumitomo Corporation Korea are taking a profound step forward, demonstrating through actions their commitment to helping decarbonize Korea. Syzygy is honored to be a part of their forward-thinking efforts in fighting climate change."

The three companies announced the joint development agreement at a ceremony at LOTTE World Tower in Seoul, Korea on August 24, 2022.

"Partnering with best-in-class companies like Syzygy and LOTTE Chemical HQ is one of the important steps we are taking to make good on our commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and lead the decarbonization of society," said Shinichi Hasegawa, General Manager of Energy Innovation Initiative of Americas at Sumitomo Corporation of Americas.

"We are proud to engage in scaling up the groundbreaking technology Syzygy has developed, and we are confident its application with LOTTE Chemical HQ will yield successful results." 

Author : Debi Dash
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