Kawasaki Hydrogen Road

Paving the way for a hydrogen-based society

Kawasaki Vision for the Future

Today, our society is mostly dependent for energy on fossil fuels such as petroleum or natural gas.
This is causing the serious environmental problem of global warming and the risk of natural resource depletion. “Hydrogen Energy” offers a solution for securing a stable energy supply and the preservation of the global environment.

Hydrogen has been referred to as the “Ultimate Clean Energy.” It can be used like petroleum as fuel to power automobiles, and like natural gas to generate electricity.
Besides, unlike fossil fuels, hydrogen does not emit carbon dioxide when combusted to produce energy.
We will be able to continue to drive cars and use electricity with hydrogen.
Our daily lives will not change. But thanks to hydrogen energy, our society can be changed dramatically.

Through hydrogen energy, Kawasaki hopes to bring a new future to the people of the world.
This initiative, which draws on the integrated capabilities of the whole Kawasaki Group, has already started.

Hydrogen: The Ultimate Energy
Clean and Powerful

Hydrogen, a clean energy that does not emit CO2 when utilization, is derivable from numerous sources. Preparations of the infrastructure to utilize hydrogen as a source of energy are starting globally.

“Production”, “Transportation/Storage”, and “Utilization” of hydrogen.
Kawasaki has technologies highly compatible with each of these processes. Kawasaki technology will link hydrogen production sites to energy consumers, and in so doing give birth to the Hydrogen Road.

“Production”, “Transportation/Storage”, and “Utilization”

Hydrogen Road


Hydrogen Production

Production from
Brown Coal

The “Hydrogen” solution takes advantage of previously unused resources

Despite its great potential, brown coal goes unused because, for various reasons, it cannot be transported to consumers. The solution to convert brown coal to “hydrogen” enables practical use of previously unused resources. The power of hydrogen will create a new path called the “Hydrogen Road” between energy production sites and consuming sites.

Brown coal* that exists about five meters underground in Latrobe Valley, Australia.
The reserves are estimated to be equivalent to 240 years’ worth of total electric power generation in Japan.
Hydrogen is produced from brown coal, and then transported to Japan by liquefied hydrogen carriers.

* Brown coal is an early stage coal, plant fossil, that is less than 100 million years old. It has not been widely used because of spontaneous ignition causing problems in transportation and storage.

Production from Renewable Energy

Mother Nature cannot be controlled by humans.
As power generation using renewable energy becomes widespread, the stability of the power supply becomes an issue.
If excess power is stored in the form of hydrogen, it can be used whenever needed by those who need it.

Production from Renewable Energy Production from Renewable Energy
Hydrogen Transportation & Storage

Transportation & Storage

Liquefied Hydrogen: The Key to Large-Volume Transportation

Kawasaki’s cryogenic technology makes large-volume transportation of hydrogen possible.

When cryogenically cooled to -253°C, hydrogen changes its phase from a gaseous state (GH2) to a liquid state (LH2), shrinking to 1/800 of its original volume. At its reduced volume, storage and transportation efficiency increases dramatically, enabling a much greater distribution of hydrogen.
Transportation of hydrogen in liquefied form is one of the highest efficient methods.
This technology is already commercially used.
Kawasaki’s many years of experience of providing liquefied natural gas (LNG: at -162℃) carriers, storage tanks and receiving terminals, and cryogenic liquefied hydrogen storage tanks is utilized in this area.
Kawasaki already possesses the key for the state-of-the-art technologies of the mass transportation of hydrogen for the foundation of a hydrogen energy society.

Realizing -253°C: Cryogenic Temperature

Developed Japan’s first industrial-scale hydrogen liquefaction system with Kawasaki’s proprietary technology.

The developed hydrogen liquefaction system is installed in the Hydrogen Technology Demonstration Center at the Harima Works, and has the capacity to liquefy approximately 5 tonnes of hydrogen per day.
This system is built upon Kawasaki’s technology of handling cryogenic materials and the turbine technology we have cultivated in the development of high rotational speed machinery.

ANSWERS Kawasaki’s Hydrogen Liquefaction System

Marine transport

Japan’s first LNG carrier was built by Kawasaki.
Kawasaki will introduce the world’s first liquefied hydrogen carrier.

To make utilization of hydrogen as a viable next-generation energy, technology is required to transport large quantities of hydrogen efficiently and safely. Kawasaki built Japan’s first LNG carrier in 1981. Since then Kawasaki has been a leader in cryogenic technology for maritime transportation. We are the rare player who can combine the shipbuilding and liquefied hydrogen cryogenic technologies.

LNG carrier

-162°C LNG carrier: 40-year Kawasaki pride.

LNG carrier
Pilot liquefied hydrogen carrier
Pilot liquefied hydrogen carrier
Pilot liquefied hydrogen carrier "SUISO FRONTIER"

In the more than forty years since we built Japan's first LNG carrier, Kawasaki has developed and built the Suiso Frontier, the world's first liquefied hydrogen carrier. Utilizing our technology for LNG carriers and the overland transportation and storage of liquefied hydrogen, we designed and built it based on safety requirements approved as interim recommendations by the International Marine Organization (IMO).
Because the liquefied hydrogen is cooled to nearly 100°C lower than LNG, it can be easily gasified. After passing various technology demonstration tests, we conducted tests to prove our technology for the long-distance transport of liquefied hydrogen produced in Australia to Japan, culminating in a successful maiden voyage from Australia to Japan in 2022.

Large-scale liquefied hydrogen carrier

Should a society where hydrogen is widely used be realized, it will be necessary to carry large quantities of low-cost hydrogen produced overseas to Japan. Hydrogen, the ultimate clean energy. When hydrogen becomes an energy source as common as coal, oil and natural gas, Kawasaki-developed large-scale liquefied hydrogen carriers will support its distribution.

Land transport

Liquefied hydrogen containers
Liquefied hydrogen containers

Liquefied hydrogen containers to enable land transportation of liquefied hydrogen

As demand for hydrogen energy increases, land transportation will be required to bring large quantities of liquefied hydrogen to consuming sites. The insulation technology we developed for our LNG storage tanks enables transportation of liquefied hydrogen at -253°C.

Compressed gaseous hydrogen trailer with composite cylinders
Compressed gaseous hydrogen trailer with composite cylinders

Compressed gaseous hydrogen trailers to meet various transportation needs

With fuel cell vehicles to enter the market, preparation of hydrogen filling stations is already underway. Kawasaki has developed Japan’s first compressed hydrogen trailer with composite cylinders, which will enable hydrogen to be transported from domestic hydrogen production facilities to offsite hydrogen stations, be stored there in the trailer itself, and be supplied to fuel cell vehicles.


Kawasaki Technology:
Built on more than 30 years of working with rocket fuel

Through the development of the liquefied hydrogen storage tanks at JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency)’s Tanegashima Space Center rocket launch facilities, as well as liquefied hydrogen containers for land transportation, Kawasaki has cultivated technology to transport and store -253°C cryogenic liquefied hydrogen safely. Kawasaki technology, based on a long, successful history of dealing with hydrogen, will be instrumental in building the hydrogen energy network.

Liquefied hydrogen storage tanks
Liquefied hydrogen storage tanks

Largest Japanese domestic liquefied hydrogen storage tank, equipped with advanced insulation technology for minimising boil-off gas

In a liquefied hydrogen storage tank, heat from the sun and other external factors cause the stored liquid to evaporate. This is known as boil-off gas, and technology to minimise its formation is essential for long-term storage of liquefied hydrogen. To maintain the -253°C conditions needed for storing liquefied hydrogen, Kawasaki developed even more advanced thermal insulating technology than used in our LNG storage tanks to keep boil-off gas formation to the absolute minimum. For 30 years, our high-performance liquefied hydrogen storage tanks have supported the endeavours of the JAXA Tanegashima Space Center – a testament to the deep trust placed in Kawasaki technology.

ANSWERS Liquid Hydrogen Storage Tank
Kobe Liquefied Hydrogen Receiving Terminal "Hy touch Kobe"

On Kobe Airport Island in Hyogo Prefecture, Kawasaki has constructed and is conducting technological demonstration tests at a receiving terminal equipped with a loading arm that can transfer -253°C liquified hydrogen as is, liquified hydrogen storage tanks and other facilities.
In this way, we are moving toward the creation of the world's first international hydrogen energy supply chain.

Hydrogen Utilization

Hydrogen Utilization

Future Society with Widespread
Hydrogen Energy Utilization in Sight

When widespread utilization of hydrogen energy starts, society will change a great deal. Fuel cell vehicles that run without emitting CO2 will become commonplace, and everything from mobility to electricity generation will be efficiently powered by clean hydrogen. Hydrogen will contribute to greater energy efficiency while helping to realise an environmentally friendly society. This dream energy will help create a sustainable future.

Hydrogen technology for gas turbines

One of the most effective utilization of hydrogen energy is the hydrogen gas turbine power generation.
Kawasaki has developed a proprietary technology of combustion using only hydrogen or natural gas as well as any mixture of them. The newly developed combustion technology enables the existing natural gas turbine to be utilized without modification to its main body, and the whole turbine system to be capable of adapting to the hydrogen's unique combustion property.
In the spring of 2018, the demonstration was successfully completed by supplying four neighboring public facilities with heat and power simultaneously using a gas turbine power generation system in an urban area fueled by hydrogen alone. It was the world's first.

Smart Community Technology Development Project Utilizing Hydrogen Cogeneration Systems
Kobe Port Island

This demonstration project utilizes a co-generation system(CGS*1) with hydrogen gas turbines.
On a former site of Minatojima Clean Center we constructed a co-generation system with a 1 MW-gas turbine fueled by hydrogen and natural gas.

This was conducted as a Project Subsidized to Industrial Technology Development Expense under a Specific Theme by NEDO*2 (FY 2015 to 2018) in cooperation with Obayashi Corporation, the City of Kobe, and major corporations in the Kansai area. This is the first attempt in the world to supply heat and power generated from hydrogen to an urban area.

  • *1 CGS
    CGS is a collective name for systems that supply heat and power.
  • *2 NEDO
    National Research and Development Agency,
    New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization
  • NEDO

Wet Type Combustor
Hydrogen and Natural Gas Fueled Burner

How Kawasaki combine conflicting factors?

A difference between a conventional gas turbine and a hydrogen gas turbine lies in the combustor.
Instead of designing it only for hydrogen, Kawasaki devised a technology so that natural gas, hydrogen, or mixture of them can be used as its fuel flexibly.
However, it is required a technology to resolve conflicting factors such as stable combustion and reducing NOx emission at the same time.

Hydrogen is almost a part of our society.

This demonstration project generates heat and power from hydrogen and supplies them to public facilities nearby.
This is the first project of this kind in the world in an urban area.
Hydrogen is almost a part of our society.

Dry Low Emission NOx Hydrogen-Fueled Combustion Technology


Advancement of Hydrogen Technologies and Utilization Project

Seven times faster flame velocity and
higher temperature combustion
that yields new technology

Not only does hydrogen combust seven times faster than natural gas, it also characteristically burns at higher temperatures. Technically speaking, there are many issues that must be overcome such as fuel nozzle damage, unstable combustion and an increase of air-polluting NOx. Superior technical prowess is required in the development of combustors that can handle these traits of hydrogen.

For example, we have devised a fuel nozzle suitable to the properties of hydrogen combustion. While technology exists that injects water to cool and stop the generation of NOx the hotter the nozzle gets, the inserted water lowers fuel efficiency. Thus, we devised a new method to tackle this – dry low emission NOx combustion technology.

In 2020, Kawasaki successfully demonstrated a dry-type combustor than runs on 100% hydrogen fuel. Since then, while adding the further improvement of a micro-mix burner combined with Kawasaki’s unique after-burn technology, we have been successful in reducing NOx emissions to half of the level required by Japan’s air pollution regulations.

Since our dry low emission NOx combustor is operatable using hydrogen mixed with natural gas, it also brings us much closer to the realization of a world that employs hydrogen energy.

<Dry-type combustor>
This newly developed combustor employs micro-mix combustion which subdivides the hydrogen fuel and ejects it from tiny nozzles that measure less than one millimeter in diameter. Through further development of this technology, Kawasaki will work harder towards reduced NOx emissions and co-combustion with natural gas to improve the environment and realize user-friendliness.