A review study written by a group of scientists with funding from the Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF) has been published in the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, a scholarly journal distributed by the Dutch academic publisher Elsevier.
It is crucial to introduce a significant proportion of renewable energy if we are to achieve a decarbonized civilization. Renewable energy is distinguished by the fact that its capacity to produce electricity varies with the weather and the time of day. Water electrolysis is a major method for converting such energy, and there is optimism that hydrogen can act as a regulatory agent to control such power variations.
This review paper examined a wide range of concerns for each main water electrolysis technique, including limitations on the use of renewable energy as a power source for water electrolysis, the robustness of water electrolyzers, and catalyst deterioration. Following that, it highlighted the concerns that need to be explored moving ahead, as well as the performance criteria for water electrolysis systems and materials that can adjust to renewable energy swings.
In order to reduce the cost of carbon-free hydrogen (green hydrogen) along the entire hydrogen supply chain of “producing,” “transporting,” and “using,” TMF established the “Research Program to Support Innovative Hydrogen Energy Solutions” in 2017. TMF has positioned environmental and energy issues as key themes for a sustainable mobility society. In this program, funding have been awarded over a three-year period for 29 interesting research ideas that were chosen from open calls. Also, possibilities for interchange and mutual study among chosen researchers as well as frequent reviews and recommendations by an evaluation committee of experts in hydrogen and energy systems have been offered.
The Japanese government declared “Carbon Neutrality by 2050” in October 2020. In April 2021, TMF launched a new cooperative research program to be carried out by teams of researchers in order to realize a decarbonized society, in addition to supporting fundamental research by individual researchers. Two working groups (WG) were established in this cooperative research initiative to concentrate on “Hydrogen Society & Energy Systems” and “Water Electrolysis,” two key topics for achieving a decarbonized civilization. Under the “Research Program to Promote Innovative Hydrogen Energy Solutions,” five researchers for each WG were chosen.
The research team has begun using a practical water electrolysis device installed with the help of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology to conduct research on the effects of renewable energy power fluctuations on water electrolysis systems. This research is based on information obtained by conducting literature reviews. Few published research have examined how variations in renewable energy power output affect behavior, performance degradation, and durability using actual equipment. The findings of this study should help to address issues with performance enhancement and cost-effective water electrolysis.
Since its inception, the Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has conducted business operations with the goal of fostering a prosperous society through the production of automobiles while respecting all parties involved, including clients, partners in trade, staff members, and the communities where it conducts business. As a result, the Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF) was created in August 2014 to carry out charitable endeavors.
TMF is working to address mobility concerns globally through a wide range of projects with the goal of realizing a mobility society where everyone can move about freely. The Toyota Group will continue to support initiatives that are in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), working with a variety of partners and utilizing the technologies and know-how it has developed through its business activities, while also contributing to the realization of a society where people can lead rich and fulfilling lives.