New York-based H2-Industries set to clear the oceans of plastic waste and produce clean fuel from innovative ship design
By Suzanne Forcese
Wt interview with Michael Stusch Executive Chairman & CEO, H2 Industries
“Plastic debris is currently the most abundant type of litter in the ocean, making up 80 percent of all marine debris found from surface waters to deep-sea sediments. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) at least 14 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean every year.” -- H2-Industries, CEO Michael Stusch
Hydrogen News - H2-Industries to produce clean hydrogen while cleaning Ocean
H2-Industries Inc. Is a global hydrogen generation and energy storage solutions company founded by Dipl.-Ing. Michael Stusch in 2010, focused on developing technologies that generate, store, transport and release green hydrogen using Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers (LOHC).
The hydrogen can then be economically extracted and converted to electrical energy. At present, H2-Industries is engaged in commercialization activities in twenty countries on five continents, collaborating with leading suppliers and consultants worldwide to facilitate the deployment of its technology.
WATERTODAY learned more from Michael Stusch Executive Chairman & CEO at H2 Industries about the first waste-to-hydrogen ship.
Every minute a load of plastic waste the size of a garbage truck is dumped into the seas. Image courtesy H2-Industries
WT: Please tell us the journey that motivated the start-up of H2 Industries. What is the Company’s mission?
Stusch: My whole life was led by wanting to help human beings to develop themselves and to protect our planet. This started with my engineering studies end of the ’80s when hydrogen played an important role, developing the internet as a pioneer mid ’90s (I founded ADTECH, an advertising company that invented parts of online advertising technologies and sold it in 2007 to AOL/Time Warner), and then from 2010 again in the hydrogen field. Now we are solving the biggest environmental problems of our planet with our technologies.
Our mission is to accelerate the energy transition with emission-free sustainable energy to prevent climate change and contribute to a clean world future.
WT: What is LOHC? Please describe the technology. Why is this technology revolutionary?
Stusch: A key challenge to all hydrogen producers worldwide remains the safe and economic transportation and storage of hydrogen. As gaseous hydrogen is not suitable for long-distance shipping, suppliers can (a) liquefy hydrogen (b) convert it to ammonia, or (c) bind it to a liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC).
From a cost and security point of view, LOHC has unmatched advantages compared to other forms of hydrogen storage, transportation and release.
LOHC is an organic compound that can absorb and release hydrogen through chemical reactions. LOHC can use existing diesel transportation infrastructure and can safely store hydrogen over long periods without loss. LOHC is non-flammable and one grade less toxic than Diesel.
Therefore, H2-Industries will exclusively be using LOHC to store hydrogen and transport it to off-takers, where it will be released again for on-time usage.
WT: Every minute a load of plastic waste the size of a garbage truck is dumped into the sea. How are you planning to change that?
Stusch: At H2 Industries, we have been granted preliminary approval from the General Authority for Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone) to develop a 1GW LOHC waste-to-hydrogen plant which will collect plastic waste secured at the Mediterranean entrance to the canal at East Port-Said.
We are also proactively designing a ship that will collect plastic waste that currently blights the world’s oceans and then convert it into clean hydrogen, allowing surplus hydrogen to be shipped back to shore.
WT: Please tell us about the concept ship that will collect plastic waste and convert it to green hydrogen. Will the ship’s design also run on this green hydrogen?
Stusch: We are very excited about our waste-to-hydrogen ship. The ship’s length will be more than 150 metres, and the exact size will be dependent on how much storage capacity is required.
The ship will have two bunkers for continuous LOHC production which will power the ship, and the surplus will be shipped back to shore.
The 150-meter-long ship works with two smaller vessels for plastic collection and clean hydrogen production- Image courtesy H2-Industries
The ship will run on electric motors using the LOHC produced on board as its fuel. This will be converted into electricity in a series of H2-Industries' 19-inch eRelease Racks. Each rack holds 48 KW, and there will be multiple racks to deliver the approximately one MW that a ship of this size would require. This is the same technology developed and deployed in cruise liners, supertankers, or large container ships.
The ship will be fitted with multiple kilns to match the speed of plastic collection. it is envisaged that the ship will collect plastic for around a year in one location before moving on to another waste ground.
WT: Are there other countries interested in deploying this same concept? Are there currently ships in the world’s fleet that run on this technology?
Stusch: We are already in the early stages of projects in Egypt and Oman, and countries worldwide are looking for renewable energy solutions to reduce greenhouse emissions.
LOHC is not a new concept, and there are a small handful of companies developing concepts and patents for the maritime sector.
What is unique about H2 Industries is the plastic waste collection and converting it into LOHC, as well as the scale in which we intend to produce.
WT: What is the Company’s vision moving forward?
Stusch: At H2 Industries, the vision has always been to live in a world where emission-free, sustainable energy is available everywhere, and affordable and safe for everyone. And so, we take our role very seriously to help reduce climate change, contributing to a cleaner world for future generations.
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