Domo and Hynamics Team up on Sustainable PA

07.07.2022 - Leuna, Germany-based PA producer Domo Chemicals is teaming up with low-carbon hydrogen producer Hynamics, a wholly owned subsidiary of French energy group EDF, to produce sustainable polyamides from hydrogen, using output from the Belle-Étoile industrial site in Saint-Fons, France.

The companies hope the new project will be a major step toward decarbonization of industrial sites that currently use “gray” hydrogen, produced from fossil fuels. The location in southern France’s Vallée de la Chimie (Chemistry Valley) close to major transport routes is expected to open up opportunities for the creation of a more complete hydrogen ecosystem.

A first step will see the installation of an 85-megawatt (MW) hydrogen plant using the water electrolysis process. Powered by the French low-carbon electric power mix, this will be capable of producing 11,000 t/y of low-carbon hydrogen.

By 2027, the facility is expected to be able to generate 100% of the hexamethylene diamine (HMD) feedstock required for the production of PA and eventually avoid the emission of 84,000 t of CO2 annually. The low-carbon polymer will be used in various applications in major industry sectors, including automotive, electronics, and heating & cooling.

Before production starts, the partners will develop technical concepts for integrating the low-carbon hydrogen production plant into the wider production process for HMD. Later they will work closely with France’s RTE, a company that manages the national power grid, to resolve any connectivity issues.

As a priority project for the industry's zero-carbon strategy and for the France 2030 investment plan, HyDom is receiving funding from the French government, and the future partners additionally have applied to the European Commission for additional funding.

Christelle Rouillé, CEO of Hynamics, said the scope of the new endeavor reflects the EDF offshoot’s expertise in developing industrial electrolytic hydrogen production projects with a strong environmental impact.

Yves Bonte, CEO of Domo Chemicals, remarked that the reduction of CO2 emissions remains a major challenge for the industry, and that the low carbon footprint solutions are designed to help the company’s customers achieve their own CO2 emission reduction targets.

The joint investment in a low-carbon hydrogen unit to replace the existing natural gas-based production unit will give rise to the first hydrogen infrastructure in the Lyon region.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist