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World’s first commercial-scale waste-to-hydrogen plant in Sharjah

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Sharjah-based Beeah have entered a joint development agreement (JDA) to develop the world’s first commercial-scale waste-to-hydrogen plant in the UAE.

Building on several breakthroughs achieved in its waste-to-hydrogen demonstration plant, Beeah, Chinook Hydrogen, and Air Water Gas Solutions, and a subsidiary of Air Water Inc., have entered a joint agreement (JDA).

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The agreement was signed at the UAE Pavilion, COP28, by Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO of Beeah Group, Dr. Rifat Chalabi, CEO and Co-Founder of Chinook Hydrogen, and Ishmael Chalabi, President and CEO of Air Water Gas Solutions.

The agreement will build on the success of the hydrogen-from-waste demonstration plant, which has achieved major breakthroughs by demonstrating an attractive, carbon-negative solution to produce green hydrogen from waste. The demonstration plant transforms various organic-based waste, including Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), non-recyclable plastics and wood waste, into super green hydrogen that is connected to a Toyota fuel-cell unit that generates power from the hydrogen produced, similar to the fuel cell installed in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles such as the Toyota Mirai.

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“We believe achieving zero-waste to landfill goes hand-in-hand with achieving net-zero emissions. With the launch of this waste-to-hydrogen demonstration plant, we have achieved a solution that we can address the challenge of waste and carbon emissions. It can also be scaled and replicated in countries around the world, and together, we will now begin with a commercial-scale plant in Sharjah,” said Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO of Beeah. “I would like to congratulate Chinook Hydrogen and Air Water Gas Solutions for working with us to realise this milestone, which not only supports our objective of creating a large commercial waste-to-hydrogen plant in UAE, but also demonstrates an economically and environmentally attractive hydrogen production solution that can be easily adopted worldwide.”

The demonstration plant benefits from Chinook Hydrogen’s RODECS pyrolysis technology, developed and optimised over 23 years with 18 gasification units installed world-wide. The technology is heavily patented, using “Active-Hydropyrolysis” to process a wide range of post-consumer organic-based wastes in batches, including MSW, non-recyclable plastics, sewage sludge, biomass and waste wood feedstocks to produce a syngas. Chinook Hydrogen’s RODECS system is the only one in the world to process waste with low energy content to yield syngas with hydrogen concentrations of around 50%vol. In this system, the hydrogen rich syngas is further processed by advanced hydrogen refinement technology developed by Air Water to produce high purity fuel-cell grade hydrogen for use in transportation, fine chemical and industrial applications. The plant can also capture and store carbon dioxide from the syngas, making the process carbon negative.

Aligning with the UAE’s Net-Zero by 2050 Pathway, Beeah has made significant strides in increasing landfill waste diversion rates and contributing to net-zero emissions. Its integrated waste management complex comprises 12 facilities, which process nearly all types of households, commercial and industrial waste, to produce recyclables, alternative fuels and alternative raw materials, enabling steadily increasing landfill waste diversion rates and contributions to the circular economy.

In May of 2022, Beeah inaugurated the Sharjah Waste-to-Energy plant, the first project of Beeah’s joint venture with global renewable energy leader Masdar, which further drove landfill waste diversion to a new regional record of 90% and displaces 450,000 tonnes of CO2 a year. The addition of the waste-to-hydrogen plant would be another major milestone for Beeah as it drives towards total landfill waste diversion in Sharjah.

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In addition to the decarbonisation of the transport industry and lowering emissions in the waste management sector, the planned waste-to-hydrogen plant in Sharjah is also strategically aligned with the UAE National Hydrogen Strategy 2050, which sets a goal of producing of 1.4 million tonnes of hydrogen per annum by 2031 and aims to establish the nation as one of the world’s major hydrogen hubs.

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