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Sinopec launches China’s first hydrogen refueling service station

Sinopec launches China's first hydrogen refueling service station
Photo courtesy of Sinopac

China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) launched China’s first methanol-to-hydrogen and hydrogen refueling service station in Dalian, China, in mid-February. The service station is a pilot model to lead the development of China’s hydrogen energy industry.

An upgrade from the previous fueling station offering oil, gas, hydrogen, electric charging services, the integrated complex can produce 1,000 kilograms of hydrogen a day, with a purity of 99.999%. 

Sinopec’s hydrogen production plant has the advantages of covering a small area, having a short construction time, and having a green, environmentally friendly production process. The new service station can save costs on hydrogen production, storage and transportation by more than 20%, compared to traditional hydrogen refueling stations. 

China is the largest methanol producer in the world, accounting for 60% of total global production. The storage and transportation cost of methanol is also much lower than hydrogen, making methanol-to-hydrogen an ideal hydrogen production technology, according to Sinopec.

Sinopec’s solution has tackled the bottlenecks of low transport capacities, high costs and long loading times. In addition, the service station’s methanol-to-hydrogen and hydrogen refueling devices has an hourly production capacity of 500 standard cubic meters, though it only occupies 64 square meters of the floor area. In comparison, conventional equipment of the same production capacity would take up 500 square meters.

Sinopec Fuel Oil Sales Co., Ltd has built two integrated fueling stations in Dalian’s free trade area, with six more now under construction. With industry-leading hydrogen production efficiency, automation and intelligent capabilities, its solution is sustainable and green—producing zero solid waste, waste water and tail gas while conserving more energy and consuming less methanol, Sinopec said.

“The launch of the service station has showed that distributed methanol-to-hydrogen is the right roadmap for the sustainable development of China’s hydrogen fueling stations, it is a leapfrog development that offers a safe, reliable, green, intelligent, integrated and efficient solution that will contribute to the scaled application of hydrogen energy at lower cost,” said Yang Junze, executive director of Sinopec Fuel Oil Sales.

Sinopec said it has built nine hydrogen fuel cell supply centers across China and the largest number of hydrogen fueling stations in the world, as part of its commitment to becoming China’s number one hydrogen energy enterprise.