JAPAN – Asahi Kasei Corporation, a multinational Japanese chemical company, is constructing an alkaline water electrolysis pilot test plant for hydrogen production at its Kawasaki Works location in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.

The construction and operation of the plant is supported by the “Green Innovation Fund” of Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).

The company anticipates the facility will start operation in early 2024 following construction work, equipment installation, and trial operation.

Asahi Kasei will introduce a pilot plant comprising several “Aqualizer” electrolyzer modules to perform various trial operations regarding responsiveness to power fluctuation and long-term durability in Kawasaki.

The investment in the modules, according to the chemical company, is to achieve sustainable large-scale production of hydrogen in an optimal environment. The company explained that it is essential for electrolysis equipment to be compatible with fluctuating electrical power input generated from renewable energy sources, like wind or solar power.

Furthermore, the “Aqualizer” electrolyzer is designed to replicate the fluctuating output of renewable energy. Since renewable sources provide unstable power output, water electrolysis equipment needs to be highly responsive to fluctuations.

 As the equipment is designed to simulate such fluctuations, it enables verification of compatibility with renewable energy and coordination with the power system.

Asahi Kasei is currently advancing its hydrogen- related business predicated on the alkaline water electrolysis system for hydrogen production, developed by utilizing membrane process with respect to Chlor- alkali electrolysis.

Asahi Kasei also installed a large 10 MW-scale alkaline water electrolysis system at the Fukushima Hydrogen Energy Research Field (FH2R) as part of a project led by Japan’s NEDO and performed several trial operations since 2020.

Based on the technological achievements obtained at FH2R, Asahi Kasei plans to commercialize a larger-scale alkaline water electrolysis system comprising multiple 10 MW modules by 2025.

Asahi now sells hot bottled water in Japan as an alternative to coffee or tea.

Meanwhile, Asahi Group Holding has started selling hot bottled water in Japan as an alternative to coffee or tea.

The product, called Oishi Mizu Tennensui Sayu, which became available in stores at the start of this month, compliments Japan’s beverage giant’s room-temperature and cold mineral water brands under its Oishi Mizu Tennensui line.

Asahi says in recent years, hot water has been gaining in polarity, with a growing number of people craving it on late-autumn and winter mornings to warm themselves up without the jittery caffeine side effects of coffee or tea.

The drink is reportedly warmed to around 50°C to 60°C (approximately 122°F to 140°F), which Asahi explained is “the optimum temperature for hot water.”

Anyone interested in buying a bottle can expect to spend 105 yen (approximately $0.72).

For all the latest food industry news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel.