Toda Kogyo Corp. (headquartered in Minami-ku, Hiroshima; hereinafter, "Toda Kogyo") and AIR WATER INC. (headquartered in Chuo-ku, Osaka; hereinafter, "AIR WATER") announce their proposal for the research and development of a high efficiency hydrogen production system using a ferrous catalyst and direct methane reformation in response to the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO)'s public solicitation of commissioned projects for the utilization and advancement of hydrogen technologies and the development of oxygen production technologies emitting zero CO2 using carbon hydride and other means has been approved.


This R&D project will develop a hydrogen production process and system capable of efficiently producing CO2 emission-free hydrogen from the raw material methane, which is a major component of natural gas, biogas and other fuel gasses, using the DMR (Direct Methane Reforming) method, which uses a high-activity iron catalyst. In the future, the two companies will aim to provide CO2 emission-free hydrogen as turquoise hydrogen by using a heating fuel for DMR reacting furnaces.*


During the R&D period (FY2021 to 2022), the companies' goals will be to realize the stable production of hydrogen whose purity is 99.99% or greater, which is generally used for industrial purposes, and complete a high-efficiency hydrogen production system capable of creating highly conductive multi-wall carbon nanotubes (hereinafter, "CNT") as a by-product, based on the DMR catalyst preparation technique and DMR responsive technology of Toda Kogyo and the gas purification technology of AIR WATER.  In addition, the companies will work to achieve a hydrogen production cost of 30 yen/Nm3 or less, which is a target for 2030 laid out by the Japanese government in their Basic Hydrogen Strategy, using sales of the by-product, CNT, to reduce costs.


The goal of the high-efficiency hydrogen production system the companies will build in this R&D project is to achieve the supply of inexpensive CO2-emission-free hydrogen by fully leveraging the existing city gas infrastructure to quickly clean up the existing industrial hydrogen supply chain. Toda Kogyo and AIR WATER will push forward with the development of this system, expecting that it will accelerate the companies' efforts to realizing a carbon-free society by 2050, increase the value provided by companies using hydrogen, and also contribute to development of domestic industries.

About Turquoise hydrogen

Turquoise hydrogen is hydrogen generated through the thermal decomposition of methane. There are multiple ways to generate hydrogen. A method of distinguishing them that has been gathering steam is the categorization of the generated hydrogen by "color" as determined by the environmental load during the generation. When a renewable or carbon-neutral energy source is used for thermal decomposition and the solid carbon generated in the production process is not released into the atmosphere as CO2, the generated hydrogen is called turquoise hydrogen.

color Feature
Green hydrogen Hydrogen generated through water electrolyzation using electricity generated from renewable energy.
Turquoise hydrogen Hydrogen generated through the thermal decomposition of methane, which generates solid carbon, not CO2, as a by-product. The reacting furnace must be operated using power from a renewable energy source or carbon-neutral energy.
Blue hydrogen Hydrogen is generated from coal, natural gas, or other fossil fuels. The generated CO2 is separated and sequestered in the ground or sea, not released into the air.
Gray hydrogen Hydrogen is generated from coal, natural gas, or other fossil fuels. The generated CO and CO2 are released.

Please note that turquoise is the color of the stone also known as Turkish stone and is an intermediate color between blue and green. 

Diagram of the production system

[Contact for inquiries]
Corporate Communications, Air Water Inc.
Contact persons (Osaka): Nakai/  Ishii Phone: +81 6 6252 3966 12 8 Minami Semba 2 chome, Chuo ku, Osaka shi, Osaka,  542 0081, Japan
Contact persons  (Tokyo): Fukushima/ Sumi Phone:+81 3 3578 7804 18 19 Toranomon 3 chome, Minato ku, Tokyo, 105 0001, Japan