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July 07, 2009

Liquid Hydrogen Plant at Iwatani Industrial Gases Corporation Chiba Plant
Completed on July 7

Iwatani Corporation


Iwatani Corporation (Head office: Osaka and Tokyo; President: Akiji Makino; Paid-in-Capital: 20 billion yen) has built liquid hydrogen plant at Iwatani Industrial Gases Corporation Chiba Plant in Ichihara, Chiba, to meet the increasing demand for liquid hydrogen nationwide and to improve the stability of the supply system. The plant was completed on July 7, 2009 and is set to begin  operations.


The plant is the first liquid hydrogen plant in eastern Japan, and along with Hydro-Edge (Sakai, Osaka), which started its operation since April 2006, establishes a hydrogen supply system with two bases, one each in eastern and western Japan. These two plants are expected to improve manufacturing efficiency, supply stability, logistics efficiency and a back-up system, and Iwatani intends to expand the liquid hydrogen market by establishing a well-organized supply system which meets customers’ demands.


This plant uses a by-product of hydrogen produced by the adjacent factory in the industrial complex as material, with a liquid hydrogen manufacturing capability of 3,000 l/h and a storage capacity of 300 kl.




■Increasing demand for liquid hydrogen

The industrial hydrogen market is expected to expand with the growth of next generation emerging industries such as semiconductor and solar battery. Before supply of liquid hydrogen was started by Hydro-Edge (April 2006), most of the industrial hydrogen had been distributed in the form of compressed gas. These days, hydrogen is increasingly being sought in liquid form rather than as a compressed gas.

Advantages of liquid hydrogen include the possibility for large volume transportation and storage, use of less space and higher purity. Users can expect to reduce their financial burden with decreased frequency of deliveries and less personnel. Utilization of the cryogenic energy is also expected to be developed.

Features of liquid hydrogen include: 








Large volume transportation: The volume of liquid hydrogen is one-eight hundredths of

gaseous hydrogen. Compressed hydrogen gas compressed with pressure of

approximately 15MPa also contributes to improved transportation efficiency.

Comparing these forms in actual transportation efficiency,

transportation of liquid hydrogen is more than 10 times more efficient. 



Large volume storage: Large volume storage of liquid hydrogen enables large volume

users of hydrogen gas to secure the gas stably as described above. 



Less space: Downsizing and reducing the number of storage tanks result in less

necessary space for storage. 




Higher purity: New utilization is expected to be developed taking advantage of liquid

hydrogen’s features such as the more than 99.9999 % purity and extremely low

temperature into consideration. 





■ Overview of Plant


Iwatani Industrial Gases Corporation Chiba Plant, 5-3 Goikaigan, Ichihara-city, Chiba, Japan

Manufacturing Capability:

Liquid Hydrogen Production Facilities 3,000 l/h ´ 1 line

Storage Capacity: 300 kl ´ 1

Major Equipment:

Hydrogen Liquefier, PSA System, Hydrogen Circulation Compressor, etc.




■Flow of Liquid Hydrogen Production Facilities