Hydrogen energy for everyday life
Toyota and its subsidiary, Woven Planet Holdings (Woven Planet), are studying a number of viable pathways to carbon neutrality and consider hydrogen a promising solution.
Hydrogen has significant advantages: it produces zero carbon dioxide emissions when used and, when produced using renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, CO2 emissions are minimised during the production process as well. It can be used to generate electricity in fuel cell systems and can also be used as a combustion fuel.
Toyota and Woven Planet have developed a working prototype of Toyota’s portable hydrogen cartridge, which aims to facilitate the transport and supply of hydrogen energy to power a range of everyday applications in and outside of the home. Toyota and Woven Planet will conduct proof-of-concept (PoC) trials in various places, including Woven City — a ‘human-centred’ smart city of the future currently being constructed in Susono City, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan.
Together with ENEOS Corporation, Toyota and Woven Planet are working to build a comprehensive hydrogen-based supply chain aimed at expediting and simplifying production, transport and daily usage. Their trials will focus on meeting the energy needs of Woven City residents and those living in its surrounding communities.
A particular benefit of hydrogen cartridges is their portability and affordability, making it possible to bring hydrogen to where people live, work and play without the use of pipes. The small-scale infrastructure can meet energy needs in remote and non-electrified areas and be swiftly dispatched in the case of a disaster.
Next steps for the hydrogen cartridge
Today most hydrogen is generated from fossil fuels and used for industrial purposes such as fertiliser production and petroleum refining. To use hydrogen as an energy source in the home and daily life, the technology must meet different safety standards and be adjusted to new environments. In the future, Toyota expects hydrogen will be generated with very low carbon emissions and used in a wider variety of applications. The Japanese Government is working on a range of studies to promote the safe early adoption of hydrogen. Woven City will explore and test an array of energy applications using hydrogen cartridges, including mobility and household applications.
The ultimate goal of the project is to realise a carbon-neutral society where everyone can access clean energy, first in Japan and then throughout the world.
The portable hydrogen cartridge prototype was showcased at Super Taikyu Series 2022 Round 2 at Fuji Speedway from 3–5 June. The showcase was geared towards teaching people about how hydrogen energy works and helping them imagine the different ways hydrogen can become a useful part of their daily lives.
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