Aug. 07, 2020
Sumitomo Corporation Europe Limited
Start-up Investment in IsraelStake acquired in H2Pro, developer of a CO2-free process for producing hydrogen from water
Sumitomo Corporation (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director, President and Chief Executive Officer: Masayuki Hyodo) and Sumitomo Corporation Europe Limited (Head Office: London, UK; CEO: Takashi Yamana) (hereinafter collectively referred to as the “Sumitomo Corporation Group”), have acquired a stake in H2Pro Ltd (hereinafter, “H2Pro”), a startup company that develops new hydrogen production technology, via IN Venture, a corporate venture capital (“hereinafter, “CVC”) established in Israel in June 2019.
Controlling global warming by reducing CO2 emissions has become a worldwide issue in recent years, and hydrogen is expected to be a key energy source for the future as it does not emit CO2 . Hydrogen’s storability, transportability and utility as an energy source adds further support that the hydrogen market will grow significantly henceforth. The primary means of producing hydrogen at present uses natural gas and other fossil fuels. It can produce hydrogen at low cost, but CO2 is emitted during the hydrogen production process. While the water electrolysis does not emit CO2 in the production process, the high production cost is an obstacle for practical use.
H2Pro has developed a new way of water electrolysis hydrogen production technology – E-TAC (Note 1). Existing other water electrolysis hydrogen production methods generate oxygen and hydrogen simultaneously, but E-TAC uses the electrodes developed by H2Pro to generate oxygen and hydrogen separately. This eliminates the need for the separator (Note 2) to prevent the mixing of oxygen and hydrogen, increasing energy efficiency during production and lowering the cost of hydrogen production. Putting E-TAC to practical use and significantly lowering production costs vis-à-vis existing electrolysis production methods will help hydrogen energy catch on.
Sumitomo Corporation launched a “Hydrogen-related Business Working Group” in May 2018 to pursue the potential of hydrogen-related business. The Sumitomo Corporation Group will be further accelerating its efforts to grow and develop a hydrogen society by investing in, and collaborating with, H2Pro. The Group will also continue advancing its own digital transformation by investing in startups through CVC firms such as IN Venture, in order to bolster and upgrade its existing businesses and to create new ones.
(Note 1) E-TAC:
Electrochemical, Thermally Activated Chemical
(Note 2) Separator
A thin sheet of material used to prevent the mixing of oxygen and hydrogen as they are simultaneously produced during ordinary water electrolysis
■ Explanatory diagram of E-TAC hydrogen production
■Sumitomo Corporation’s Material Issues
Sumitomo Corporation Group positions “Six Material Issues to Achieve Sustainable Growth with Society” as an important factor in developing business strategies and in the decision-making process for individual businesses. Going forward, we will pursue sustainable growth by resolving these issues through our business activities. This Project especially contributes to “Achieving Harmony with the Global Environment” “Contributing to the Development of Local Communities and Industries”. “Establishing a Foundation for Comfortable and Enriching Lifestyles”.