Korea East-West Power Co. announced on July 17 that it has launched a research project jointly with Ulsan Institute of Technology (UNIST) to produce hydrogen and electricity simultaneously with carbon dioxide in exhaust gases emitted by power plants.
Korea East-West Power plans to set up the world's first carbon dioxide-utilizing hydrogen and electricity production system for power plants at Dangjin Thermal Power Plant in Korea. The company will verify the commercial feasibility of its idea with the data obtained through the pilot system.
According to a company official, a kind of battery is produced when carbon dioxide is dissolved in water and metal (zinc or aluminum) is put in the opposite electrolyte solution. This battery operates through an electrochemical reaction and produces hydrogen and electric power.
The research and development project aims to build an empirical system capable of producing 10 kWh electric power using carbon dioxide from power plants.
Hydrogen is produced incidentally in a petrochemical process, or can be obtained by processing natural gas. However, a large amount of greenhouse gas emissions are generated in this process. When producing hydrogen through electrolysis, much electricity is consumed.
If the research project attains its goal and develops eco-friendly and economical hydrogen production technology, it will contribute to the creation of jobs in Korea and revving up the hydrogen economy, the official said.