South Korean equipment maker Doosan Heavy Industries has signed a memorandum of understanding with another Korean company to develop the technology to produce hydrogen from waste plastics and vinyl.
Doosan has teamed up with RevoTech, a plastic pyrolysis specialist, to carry out the work. RevoTech will handle the thermal decomposition of the plastic waste to produce gas, and Doosan Heavy will develop facilities and processes to extract hydrogen from it.
Doosan said it would build a hydrogen reformer unit at RevoTech’s plant in the city of Mungyeong in central Korea. The initial aim is to extract about 300kg of hydrogen a day before the end of the year, but Doosan hopes to increase this to 3 tonnes.
The two companies intend to use "continuous pyrolysis technology", for which the plastic feedstock is fed into the system without interruption, and does not need to be sorted before being treated. According to the partners, this makes the process easier to expand and delivers improved economic efficiency.
The Korea Herald comments that the country produces more than 8 million tons of waste plastics every year, and about half of which is buried or burned.
Song Yong-jin, a vice president of Doosan Heavy Industries, said the hydrogenation of waste plastics could contribute to the "realisation of resource circulation and carbon neutrality", and that the hydrogen produced could be used in fuel cells and hydrogen gas turbines in the future.
Image: The alliance between Doosan and RevoTech was signed by Song Yong-jin (left) and RevoTech boss Hwang Byung-jik (Doosan Heavy Industries)