SEOUL -- In cooperation with two research institutes, South Korea's steel group POSCO will develop technologies to extract large amounts of hydrogen from ammonia and supply green hydrogen produced overseas to power stations and industrial facilities. Ammonia is a combination of hydrogen and nitrogen and is considered the best material for the efficient and economical transportation of hydrogen.
POSCO said in a statement on March 18 that it forged a partnership with the state-run Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) and the Research Institute of Industrial Science & Technology (RIST). POSCO's business model is to decompose water into electricity made of renewable energy to produce green hydrogen, synthesize it into ammonia for transport and storage, and extract hydrogen again from ammonia.
KIST has developed a technology that extracts high-purity hydrogen from ammonia. Through cooperation with POSCO, the institute will develop a catalyst that allows the extraction of hydrogen from ammonia with high efficiency. RIST will develop the process of extracting high-capacity hydrogen from ammonia. Green hydrogen, which is produced from water using renewable power while blue hydrogen is derived from natural gas with carbon capture technology.
On March 8, POSCO signed a business agreement with Australia's energy company, ORIGIN ENERGY, to import ammonia. Origin plans to produce green hydrogen using hydroelectric power in Tasmania, an island state of Australia. After a feasibility study, the two companies will consider synthesizing hydrogen into ammonia for delivery by POSCO into South Korea.
In February, the steel group forged a strategic alliance with South Korea's Hyundai auto group. POSCO will develop green hydrogen manufacturing technology using ammonia, while Hyundai will push for a fuel cell power generation project using green hydrogen.
POSCO has promised to complete a five-million-ton green hydrogen production system by 2050. Currently, the steel group produces 7,000 tons of hydrogen annually and extracts about 3,500 tons of by-product hydrogen. POSCO plans to raise the production capacity of byproduct hydrogen to 70,000 tons by 2025 and produce up to 500,000 tons of blue hydrogen by 2030.
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