“Hydrogen can be used by anyone, anywhere” was a key theme by Hyundai Motor at its lavish display at CES 2024 held in Las Vegas in early January where the company went all-out to demonstrate its vision of transitioning to a hydrogen society. It plans to expand HTWO, its existing fuel cell brand, into the group’s hydrogen value chain business brand, and announced a ‘HTWO Grid’ solution that will accelerate the transition to a hydrogen society. HTWO harnesses the capabilities of each affiliate within the group to offer an optimized, customized package that integrates unit solutions to meet the diverse environmental characteristics and needs of customers at every stage of hydrogen production, storage, transportation and utilization.
A display of media tables examined the technologies that will be applied at each stage of the value chain and showcased the company’s future direction toward speeding up the transition to a hydrogen society. First, in the production stage table, visitors could look at the resource-circulating hydrogen production technology, including two approaches: Plastic-to-Hydrogen (P2H) and Waste-to-Hydrogen (W2H), and a green hydrogen process.
P2H involves melting waste plastics that cannot be recycled, such as contaminated plastic and vinyl waste, which can be transformed into clean hydrogen energy. It can be achieved by combining liquefaction technology developed by Hyundai Engineering and the gasification technology of the global oil and gas company, Shell.
W2H is a process that converts biogas from organic waste, such as livestock manure and food waste, into hydrogen. Group entities Hyundai Engineering & Construction (E&C) and Hyundai Rotem are collaborating to enhance the technological development of this process. The W2H Process Diorama displayed next to the HTWO Grid media table demonstrated the process from biogas collection to hydrogen production, carbon capture and hydrogen-refueling station.
Visitors could also learn about green hydrogen that is produced by electrolyzing water. Electrolysis plants operate on renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar and hydropower. As green hydrogen is produced by a carbon-free energy source, it neither emits polluting gases during combustion nor production, gaining attention as the ultimate clean energy source of the future.
Hyundai E&C and Hyundai Engineering are participating in the construction of electrolysis-based hydrogen production facilities, producing 1 ton of hydrogen per day in South Korea’s Busan and Buyeo, respectively. As total EPC providers, both companies possess capabilities in design, procurement, and construction, as well as operation, maintenance, and repair, specializing in the stable construction and operation of electrolysis plants. Hyundai E&C and Hyundai Engineering are enhancing their expertise in the construction of electrolysis plants, further expanding projects for large-scale green hydrogen production with plans to explore overseas markets, including the Middle East.
Regarding hydrogen storage and transportation, visitors could learn about a hydrogen logistics business process established by Hyundai Glovis and the ammonia carrier, one of the methods of transporting hydrogen. Hyundai Glovis is preparing for a future hydrogen society by using its hydrogen logistics and distribution capabilities.
The flow of hydrogen transportation and distribution can be divided into four stages: production, shipping, transportation and consumption. After production, hydrogen undergoes processing for distribution, is injected into tube trailers after high-temperature compression and is then shipped to various locations worldwide. Given the challenges of storing gaseous hydrogen for extended periods, managing an appropriate supply schedule that is tailored to production quantities is crucial. After being transported via hydrogen transport trucks, the stored hydrogen is finally sold and utilized at hydrogen fueling stations, industrial facilities and elsewhere.
Regarding onshore transportation, hydrogen can be transported by sea in two ways: transported as liquid hydrogen or stored and transported in the form of ammonia. Ammonia carriers are gaining attention as an effective means of transporting hydrogen. Although liquid hydrogen transport allows for mass transport, maintaining a temperature as low as -253 degrees Celsius incurs significant costs. Ammonia transport, on the other hand, has gained popularity as an alternative to liquid hydrogen transport.
Hyundai Glovis has procured orders for two very large gas carriers (VLGCs) for ammonia transport and is set to begin operation in 2024. Hyundai Glovis is dedicated to advancing its maritime transportation capabilities in the realm of hydrogen energy by operating ammonia transport carriers, thereby broadening its business portfolio. Notably, the company handles hydrogen transportation from the Dangjin hydrogen shipping center in South Korea to hydrogen fueling stations, coordinating the fueling schedule and dispatch plans for tube trailers and establishing a systematic hydrogen logistics business.
Regarding hydrogen utilization, attendees could explore various hydrogen mobility solutions provided by the Group that can be tailored to customers’ desired purpose and scale.
Hyundai Motor’s XCIENT Fuel Cell is the world’s first mass-produced fuel cell Class 8 heavy-duty truck. It has been recognized for its eco-friendliness and excellent technological prowess in major global markets, such as Switzerland and Germany. Furthermore, the company has successfully launched tractor models specifically designed for the North American market.
Also on display, the mobile fuel cell generator supplies electricity solely through the fuel cell stack
without the need for additional auxiliary power storage devices. It can be used in various fields and can provide power in emergencies, such as power outages, or challenging environments where accessing another power supply is difficult.
To ensure the seamless operation of high-performance electric vehicles for all participating companies in the competition, Hyundai Motor has established a charging infrastructure using its hydrogen fuel cell system. The racing cars in the ETCR series recharge their batteries using electricity generated by the fuel cell generator produced by the Group. Next to the media table, a sectional model displayed the operating principle of a portable hydrogen fuel cell generator, allowing a detailed examination of its structure for easy understanding.
A hydrogen fuel cell tram from Hyundai Rotem was depicted to provide environmentally friendly public transportation, contributing to the purification and production of clean air. The tram is equipped with four hydrogen fuel cells with a capacity of 95 kW and can travel up to 150 km. It purifies approximately 800 μg of fine dust and produces 107.6 kg of clean air per hour of operation. The tram is wireless, which does not require tram overhead lines, improving the aesthetics of the city and reducing infrastructure costs. Plans call for Hyundai Rotem to continuously expand its lineup, including hydrogen high-speed trains, electric multiple units and locomotives.
Hyundai Rotem is engaged in various hydrogen infrastructure projects spanning from hydrogen production to utilization and possesses the capabilities to build diverse hydrogen infrastructure, such as hydrogen reformers and hydrogen fueling stations. Hyundai Rotem’s hydrogen reformers can produce up to 640 kg of high-purity hydrogen (over 99.995%) per day from natural gas or biogas. Additionally, this company is collaborating with hydrogen-dedicated institutions as well as the academic sector to develop new technologies such as liquefied hydrogen storage and carbon dioxide capture, thereby taking a leading role in establishing the hydrogen value chain.
Hyundai Steel is preparing to establish a green steel production system to cut carbon emissions in the steel production process. It aims to reduce both direct and indirect carbon emissions by 12 percent by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. By introducing eco-friendly processes that replace blast furnaces with electric arc furnaces and utilizing hydrogen and renewable energy instead of coal energy, the carbon emissions in the steel production process are significantly reduced.
A video inside the exhibition booth explained the hydrogen demonstration projects and core technologies conducted by the group, highlighting the company’s ongoing dedication to making the hydrogen vision a reality. A second major theme of the Hyundai exhibition showcased its vision of a paradigm shift from software-defined vehicles to SDx “Software-defined Everything”. For more info, see www.hyundai.com.