Agreement signed for Middle East’s first waste-to-hydrogen plant

Staff Report, March 8, 2022

Regional company Beeah Energy and UK’s Chinook Sciences to soon start work on project to produce low-cost green hydrogen and high-quality activated carbon

Development of the Middle East’s first waste-to-hydrogen plant is due to commence soon after regional company Beeah Energy signed an agreement with UK-based Chinook Sciences for the project.

Under the agreement, signed at the UK Pavilion in Expo 2020 Dubai, the plant will produce both low-cost ground-breaking green hydrogen and high-quality activated carbon. Non-recyclable waste wood and plastic will be processed using Chinook RODECS gasification and pyrolysis technology, which will produce up to 18,000kg of green hydrogen a day at full operational capacity.

According to Beeah Energy, which is a subsidiary of key Middle East sustainability sector entity, the Beeah Group, the project builds on Beeah’s commitment for zero-waste cities and clean energy solutions. It further demonstrates how Beeah can address the twin challenge of unrecyclable waste and contributing to green mobility simultaneously.

Present at the signing were Simon Penney, the British Consul General for Dubai and Trade Commissioner for the Middle East; Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO of Beeah; Dr Rifat Chalabi, chairman and co-founder of Chinook Sciences Group; and other dignitaries from the UK and UAE.

Al Huraimel said: “As a sustainability leader in the Middle East, we are excited to be creating the first waste-to-hydrogen solution in the region and support the UAE government in its hydrogen economy ambitions, energy diversification and decarbonisation efforts.

“Beeah has always recognised the value of energy recovery from waste, and this new project will not only showcase the potential of waste-to-hydrogen, but it will also support a circular economy across multiple fronts throughout the region.”

Production of the green hydrogen will be significantly cheaper than that of fossil fuels. The plant will host a hydrogen fuelling station, equipped to provide enough fuel cell grade hydrogen for several large trucks and buses every day. 

Chalabi added: “We are excited to work with Beeah Energy and use our patented RODECS gasification and pyrolysis technology in the UAE to produce fuel-cell grade hydrogen for their fleet. The technology breaks down hydrocarbons from waste through advanced thermal treatment to release and recover green hydrogen. Then, when the green hydrogen is used in vehicles, it emits only water as a by-product.”

The cost-efficiency and delivery of the green hydrogen comes from Chinook’s patented RODECS technology. Additionally, the plant’s unique operational concept allows it to run profitably even during a time that the hydrogen market is still developing. This will be achieved in the early months of operation by relying entirely on the production of the plant’s secondary revenue stream of activated carbon. The high-grade activated carbon produced will be used for environmental purposes as a high-grade filtration media to clean water resources and air, filtering harmful pollutants, including pathogens and viruses, said a statement.

Penney said: “The partnership between Chinook Sciences and Beeah Energy to develop the region’s first waste-to-hydrogen plant is a fantastic example of UK and UAE innovation and ambition, contributing to the sustainable economic growth of both nations.”

As the hydrogen market starts to grow the plant will gradually switch more of its operational hours away from activated carbon and towards green hydrogen production to meet hydrogen requirements, Beeah said.

Global demand for green hydrogen is rapidly growing. According to a report by Forbes, green hydrogen could supply up to 25% of the world's energy needs and become a $10 trillion addressable market by 2050.

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