Did you know there’s a hotel in Kawasaki City, Japan that creates hydrogen from waste plastics to supply about 30% of its energy needs?
Pioneered by Japanese multinational conglomerate Toshiba, the hydrogen hotel, formally known as the Kawasaki King Skyfront Tokyu REI Hotel, was opened in June 2018.
In the first year after its opening, the hotel ran a test in which it recycles even the amenities used in hotel rooms, such as toothbrushes and hair combs, as feedstocks for hydrogen production.
Having researched fuel cell technologies since the 1960s, Toshiba has developed a product called H2RexTM, a pure hydrogen fuel cell csystem that converts hydrogen to heat and electric power without producing CO2.
At the time of the hotel project, Toshiba said it had already implemented the system in more than 100 sites, including supermarkets and convenience stores.
The project required the linkage of each step in the supply chain, from the waste plastics to the hotel, one by one. The important thing was figuring out how to connect this hydrogen supply chain within Kawasaki City.
By connecting the hotel to the hydrogen pipeline, it enables for the high-volume, stable supply of hydrogen, and also helps make the process more low carbon, since the delivery will not produce any CO2 emissions.
The entire supply chain would produce approximately 80% less CO2 emissions than the use of existing energy sources.
The disposal of waste plastics is a social issue not just in Japan, but in areas throughout the world.
Toshiba aims to use the knowledge gained from the hydrogen hotel project and provide it as a global solution in the future.