Philippines MAPECON pioneers in hydrogen economy - Fuel Inaugurated

HYDROGEN economy is a long way to go. Many countries, like the United States, expect to be able to commercialize hydrogen not earlier than 2030.

Web sources said hydrogen economy is a system of delivering energy using hydrogen. The term "hydrogen economy" was coined by John Bockris in a speech he delivered in 1970 at General Motors Technical Center.

Hydrogen advocates promote it as a potential fuel for motive power (including cars and boats) and the energy needs of buildings and portable electronics.

Free hydrogen does not occur naturally in quantity, and thus must be generated from some other energy source by steam reformation of natural gas or another method. Hydrogen is, thus, an energy carrier (like a battery), not a primary energy source (like coal), the web sources said.

"This is where our technological innovation comes in. We're able to tame the hydrogen into a very good usable form that it can replace the LPG [liquefied petroleum gas]," Gonzalo Catan Jr., Mapecon Green Charcoal Philippines (MGCP) founder and executive vice president, said, referring to his patented industrial hydrogen gassifier invention.

In time with the recent Earth Day celebration, MGCP inaugurated its Industrial Hydrogen Reactor in its 4-hectare processing plant in Alaminos, Laguna.

The first of its kind in the country, the industrial hydrogen gassifier produces the low-sulfur hydrogenated-diesel fuel called JCEL, or Jesus Christ the Exalted Lord.

How is the green hydrogen liquid fuel JCEL produced?

It is made by hydrogenating or applying green hydrogen gas with catalytic botanical oily enzymes into ordinary diesel fuel. The green hydrogen is produced through the biomass patented-charcoal technology inside a hydrogen reactor.

Through the aid of catalytic enzymes, the green charcoal provides the energy needed to separate the hydrogen from water and uses the oxygen for combustion in the reactor.

The result is the Mapecon green JCEL fuel, a better diesel alternative for its manifold advantages, such as 50-percent reduction in tail-pipe emissions, 5-percent lower price per liter, 20-percent increase in mileage, and good lubrication properties even of the lower sulfur content.

Such a multimillion-peso-worth hydrogen reactor investment is a "working progress," according to Catan. He said they are now able to produce about 3,900 liters of hydrogen fuel (JCEL) a day in their processing plant for their own consumption. MGCP maintains five 10-wheeler trucks that travel about 2,000 kilometers per trip and six service vehicles that run on JCEL.

"We never stop in perfecting this technology," he said. "But more or less, we can now mass produce it."

MGCP is planning to set up another hydrogen reactor to increase its daily production to 10,000 liters. What's more, it aims to build two more reactors for prospective hotel and shipping clients that need 1,000 liters a day.

MGCP is negotiating with institutions who want to have a franchise of its green-charcoal hydrogen gas that can provide them up to 15 percent savings compared to the price of LPG they use. Catan cited the experience of Aristocrat Restaurant, MGCP's first partner-institution, which now saves 15 percent a month in its fuel consumption.

Seeing the big potential of hydrogen in the Philippines, the company is keen on expanding its pioneering hydrogen gas business.

Catan said, "For as long as the quality can be maintained, and there are people who like to use it, then why not [expand it]? But I would like to have a gradual expansion."

The MGCP plan has received support not only from the private sector, but from the government as well.

Alaminos, Laguna, Mayor Eladio Magampon, who graced the recent inauguration rites, said they are proud that the first industrialized green-hydrogen reactor is in their province.

"I know that this will solve the problem of identity crisis of Alaminos [which has been wrongly] identified as Alaminos, Pangasinan, [in Ilocos region] [which is] known for the Hundred Islands. Maybe we will become a new Alaminos with this hydrogen-reactor plant. We'll be known as Alaminos, the [home of the] first hydrogen-reactor plant," he said.

For its part, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) appreciated the private-sector initiative to help the country save billions of dollars used in importing fuel.

"So we, at the DENR, support this kind of technology. We consider this a 'triple bottom-line technology' for its environment, economic and social impacts. We congratulate Mapecon for pioneering this kind of technology in the Philippines," said Environment Assistant Secretary Marlo Mendoza.

In Photo: The country's first industrial hydrogen reactor was recently unveiled in Mapecon Green Charcoal Philippines Inc.'s (MGCPI) processing plant in Alaminos, Laguna. Attending the plant's inaugural rites are (from left) Bert Guerrero, chairman of Earthday Network Philippines; Environment Assistant Secretary Marlo Mendoza, also the National Greening Program coordinator; Mayor Eladio Magampon of Alaminos, Laguna; inventor Gonzalo O. Catan Jr., MGCPI founder and executive vice president; and Nancy Russell-Catan, vice president for administration and finance of Mapecon Philippines Inc. (Alysa Salen)

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