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Making H2 from aluminum composite waste

By Tetsuo Satoh |

Last April, a demonstration plant started up for the production of hydrogen from aluminum-based composite waste. The startup marks the culmination of a project, supported by NEDO, in which Alhytec Inc. (Takaoa City, Japan; www.alhytec.co.jp) developed the process to separate the aluminum from waste composite materials and generate H2 to be used for fuel-cell power generation at Asahi Printing Co.’s Toyama Plant. The demonstration plant has a production capacity of 2 kg/h, and the company plans to enhance the H2 generation to up to 5 kg/h. The system is composed of three steps, a pulper-type separator, using a high-speed rotator wing for separating plastics and aluminum; a pyrolysis furnace for decomposing the plastics and removing the aluminum; and the H2 generator, in which the H2 is produced by the reaction of Al in an alkaline solution. The technology is expected to find applications at printing, packaging and metals factories.
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