Domo Chemicals, a manufacturer of engineered polyamide materials, and Hynamics, a 100% subsidiary of the EDF Group specialising in the production of low-carbon hydrogen, are cooperating on a project that will see the Belle-Étoile industrial site, located in the French Vallée de la Chimie - ‘Chemistry Valley’ - switch to zero-carbon production of 100% of the hydrogen used there.
Domo operates two continuous and one semi-continuous production unit at Belle-Etoile, manufacturing ‘nylon salt’ and its intermediate hexamethylene diamine- a key component used in the production of plastic- as well as its polyamide polymers which are sold under the Stabamid and Technyl brand names.
The present initiative, called the ‘HyDom’ project involves the installation of an 85-megawatt (MW) hydrogen production plant using the water electrolysis process with a production capacity of 11,000 metric tons of low-carbon hydrogen per year. The plant will be powered by the French low-carbon electric power mix. By 2027, it will supply 100% of the annual production of hexamethylene diamine.
This joint investment in a low-carbon hydrogen unit to replace the existing natural gas-based production unit will provide the first hydrogen infrastructure in the Lyon area, noted Yves Bonte, CEO of DOMO Chemicals.
It is a major step towards the decarbonisation of industrial sites that use grey hydrogen (produced from fossil fuelsL, that is estimated to prevent the emission of 84 kilotons of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year. The location in the Vallée de la Chimie within the vicinity of major transport routes opens up opportunities for the creation of a more complete hydrogen ecosystem. HyDom is supported by the French government and has been presented to the European Commission for public funding.
The first phase of the project will consist of building up and ascertaining technical concepts and integrating the low-carbon hydrogen production plant within the larger production process of hexamethylene diamine.
According to Christelle Rouillé, CEO of Hynamics, the scope of the project reflects Hynamics’ expertise in developing industrial electrolytic hydrogen production projects with a strong environmental impact.
“In replacing the unit that currently produces hydrogen from natural gas, our project represents an important step towards industrial sovereignty and reaching our climate objectives,” she said.
“This strategic partnership will help us - and hopefully an entire ecosystem in the Vallée de la Chimie - achieve DOMO's ambitious goals for 2030, focused on decarbonization, the use of renewable energy and delivering customer solutions,” added Bonte.