Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd.
Technological Verification with LIXIL for the Use of Hydrogen in the Manufacturing Process – Succeeded in the World’s First Heat Treatment of Aluminum Profiles in Manufacturing Equipment! ~
Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. (President: Takashi Uchida, hereinafter “Tokyo Gas”) has been working with LIXIL Corporation (President: Kinya Seto, hereinafter “LIXIL”) to verify technology for the use of hydrogen in manufacturing processes. . At LIXIL’s factories in Japan, the world’s first (*1) aging treatment (*2) (heat treatment) of aluminum profiles using hydrogen has been performed, and it has been confirmed that there is no impact on product quality.
Verification of the manufacturing process at a LIXIL domestic factory In order to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 as set by the
government, in addition to the decarbonization of city gas with “e-methane (*3)” (hereinafter “e-methane”), there are no coastal areas or city gas infrastructure. It is important to select the right energy in the right place, such as direct use of hydrogen in areas and factories where hydrogen is generated in the manufacturing process. Challenges for Direct Use of Hydrogen and Efforts Utilizing Tokyo Gas Combustion Technology
Since hydrogen has different gas characteristics from natural gas (methane), there are many problems in using hydrogen in manufacturing processes that assume the use of natural gas. To date, Tokyo Gas has developed natural gas burners for a variety of applications, and has acquired numerous patents for low-NOx combustion technology. Utilizing the combustion technology know-how we have cultivated in this way, we are also working on solving problems for the direct use of hydrogen. [Image 3
Specific Initiatives with LIXIL
1. Technological verification regarding the use of hydrogen in the manufacturing process
Tokyo Gas is using its know-how in combustion technology to conduct various technical verifications with LIXIL for the use of hydrogen in the manufacturing process. On December 7, 2022, we conducted aging treatment (heat treatment) of aluminum profiles using hydrogen at the manufacturing facilities of LIXIL’s domestic factories, and confirmed that there was no impact on product quality. This will be the world’s first verification using hydrogen in an actual manufacturing facility for aluminum profiles.
Ceramic fired hydrogen combustion test at the Tokyo Gas Proving Ground 2. Technological verification for recovery of by-product hydrogen generated from the manufacturing process
Tokyo Gas and LIXIL are also verifying the recovery and utilization of by-product hydrogen generated from the manufacturing process. In August 2022, verification tests conducted jointly with LIXIL in the alumite treatment (*4) process at LIXIL’s domestic factory that manufactures aluminum shapes succeeded in recovering the generated hydrogen with an efficiency of more than 90%. Did.
In the future, we will work to improve economic efficiency, etc., and proceed with verification, including the use of recovered hydrogen. [Image 7
Image of by-product hydrogen generation
Tokyo Gas aims to achieve net zero CO2 emissions, including at customer sites, throughout the group’s business activities. We will work to spread and expand carbon-neutral energy such as e-methane and hydrogen in order to contribute to the manufacturing industry’s “CO2 net zero”.
*1: According to LIXIL research as of October 2022.
*2: To increase the strength by putting the finished aluminum shape into a furnace and heat-treating it.
*3: A term used for synthetic methane produced from non-fossil energy sources such as green hydrogen. Existing city gas infrastructure and consumer equipment can be used, enabling both a smooth transition to carbon neutrality and additional social cost reduction.
*4: A treatment method that oxidizes the aluminum surface by electrolyzing it to form a film that enhances corrosion resistance, wear resistance, and weather resistance.
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