Korea celebrates completion of world’s first hydrogen fuel cell power plant.

Home » News » Korea celebrates completion of world’s first hydrogen fuel cell power plant.

Hanwa Engineering & Construction, the company behind the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell power plant located in Seosan, South Chungcheong Province celebrated the completion of the 50 MW plant.  The project that cost $212 million and that occupies 20,000 sq m of the Daesan Industrial Complex began construction nearly one year ago. Hanwha Engineering & Construction says it is the largest industrial hydrogen-fuel-cell power plant in the world and the first to only use hydrogen recycled from petrochemical manufacturing, a huge achievement for Korea and the world as it was one of their goals to reduce the amount of waste from petrochemical manufacturers.

Hydrogen fuel cell energy differs greatly from fossil fuel electricity generation. Conventional fossil fuel technology relies on combustion to produce steam and spin a turbine. Hydrogen fuel cells, meanwhile, combine hydrogen and oxygen in an electrochemical reaction to generate electricity. The only byproducts from this reaction are heat and water vapor, making hydrogen fuel cells an appealing way to cut carbon emissions, according to Hanwha Energy.

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The plant will be able to generate up to 400,000 MWh of electricity per year, the electricity needs of 160,000 homes will be met. The recycled hydrogen will come from Hanwha Total Petrochemical plant located within the same Daesan Industrial Complex who will pump the recycled hydrogen into the new power plant via underground pipes and feeds it directly into the fuel cells. Electricity is then generated by an electrochemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. The result of the byproduct of the fuel cells is only pure water. Unlike fossil-fuel-electricity generation, hydrogen fuel cells do not emit environmental pollutants such as greenhouse gases, sulfur oxide (SOx), and nitrogen oxide (NOx).

Korea East-West Power buys the renewable energy produced by the hydrogen-fuel-cell power plant, while Doosan Corporation supplies and maintains the hydrogen fuel cells.♠♦