Earlier this year, in January, P2X Solutions announced they had begun development of their renewable hydrogen and synthetic membrane production plant in Harjavalta, located in Finland. This plant has expectations of being the ‘first’ plant capable of producing green hydrogen on an industrial scale in Finland.
The announcement of this plant, led to its partnership with Danisco Sweeteners who want to use green hydrogen to make their production of Xylitol greener and more environmentally friendly. Therefore, an agreement has been made between P2X and Danisco, which entails P2X taking green hydrogen from its plant in Harjavalta and delivering it to Danisco’s plant in Kotka, located in Finland.
Once at Danisco, the company plans to use the green hydrogen to improve their production of Xylitol, through making this process greener and eliminating the need for chemical processes. Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol which can be found in plants, such as multiple fruits and vegetables. This sugar is beneficial to humans as it contains slightly less calories than regular sugar, and it can also be used to sweeten products that do not naturally contain sugar, such as sugar-free chewing gum, mints or chocolate bars. Therefore, this product is used a relatively high amount within the consumer market, which means there is a relatively high demand for it with manufacturing companies and retailers who produce and sell products which contain Xylitol. This means that a plant which wants to focus on making the production of Xylitol greener and environmentally friendly, as Danisco’s plant does, will be hugely beneficial to the environment.
The previous process would have seen xylose and hydrogen being mixed together through the catalytic hydrogenation of xylose, whilst in the presence of an aluminium or nickel catalyst, and whilst under extreme temperatures. However, having green hydrogen available to the process will provide significant benefits through providing a much greener option. Using green hydrogen in place of hydrogen, will eliminate the need to high temperatures and chemicals, and the process will still be capable of producing xylitol, under the brand name XIVIA. This means that the necessary will be significantly improved, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced as will carbon emissions.
The next steps to take to achieve this use of green hydrogen, will be provided by P2X’s associated company, Enersense. This company holds 18.5% of P2X and has agreed to help with construction of P2X’s production plant. This help will be provided in the form of steel structures, plus equipment and pipeline installation and will commence after the companies have agreed and signed the contract. Both companies hope that the P2X plant will be able to begin producing green hydrogen through using renewable energy during 2024.
The CEO of Danisco Sweeteners Mari Kainiemi, commented, “P2X Solutions is a pioneer in green hydrogen, and through our cooperation, xylitol from the Kotka plant will become an even more sustainable product.”