07 August 2020, Tokyo: Sumitomo Corporation Group has acquired a stake in H2Pro Ltd, a start-up company that develops new hydrogen production technology, via IN Venture, a corporate venture capital, established in Israel in June 2019.
Controlling global warming by reducing CO2 emissions has become a worldwide issue in recent years, and hydrogen is expected to be a key energy source for the future as it does not emit CO2 . Hydrogen’s storability, transportability and utility as an energy source adds further support that the hydrogen market will grow significantly henceforth.
The primary means of producing hydrogen at present uses natural gas and other fossil fuels. It can produce hydrogen at low cost, but CO2 is emitted during the hydrogen production process. While the water electrolysis does not emit CO2 in the production process, the high production cost is an obstacle for practical use.
New way of Water Electrolysis Hydrogen Production Method
H2Pro has developed a new way of water electrolysis hydrogen production technology – E-TAC (Note 1). Existing other water electrolysis hydrogen production methods generate oxygen and hydrogen simultaneously, but E-TAC uses the electrodes developed by H2Pro to generate oxygen and hydrogen separately.
This eliminates the need for the separator (Note 2) to prevent the mixing of oxygen and hydrogen, increasing energy efficiency during production and lowering the cost of hydrogen production. Putting E-TAC to practical use and significantly lowering production costs vis-à-vis existing electrolysis production methods will help hydrogen energy catch on.
Sumitomo Corporation launched a “Hydrogen-related Business Working Group” in May 2018 to pursue the potential of hydrogen-related business. The Sumitomo Corporation Group will be further accelerating its efforts to grow and develop a hydrogen society by investing in, and collaborating with, H2Pro. The Group will also continue advancing its own digital transformation by investing in startups through CVC firms such as IN Venture, in order to bolster and upgrade its existing businesses and to create new ones.