Yokogawa Invests in and Signs Memorandum on Business Partnership with Tsubame BHB

Tokyo, Japan - February 21, 2024

Yokogawa Electric Corporation (TOKYO: 6841) announces that it has invested in and signed a memorandum on a business partnership with Tsubame BHB Co., Ltd. (Head office: Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Representative: Director CEO Koji Nakamura). Tsubame BHB, a university-based startup that was founded by a group headed by Professor Emeritus Hideo Hosono of the Tokyo Institute of Technology, has developed an ammonia synthesis method that makes use of electride catalysts.

Ammonia is mainly used in the production of fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, and chemicals. As well as playing an essential role in improving crop yields for a growing world population, it is hoped that it can also serve as a hydrogen carrier and fuel. While the synthesis of ammonia from hydrogen and nitrogen is conventionally done under high temperature and high pressure conditions, Tsubame BHB's electride catalysts enable the synthesis of hydrogen and nitrogen at relatively low temperature and pressure levels and thus are able to reduce the environmental impact of the ammonia synthesis process. Tsubame BHB has already received an order to supply a small distributed ammonia production plant.

Image of the small distributed ammonia production plant
Image of the small distributed ammonia production plant

In view of an anticipated major surge in energy demand that will drive the need for ammonia fuel and hydrogen carriers, Tsubame BHB has raised capital and is working to optimize the design of processes used by medium and large-scale ammonia synthesis facilities and developing catalysts that do not require the use of rare or precious metals. Yokogawa will work with Tsubame BHB to jointly develop solutions that automate the ammonia production process, improve the efficiency of remote operations by integrating the handling of data from upstream renewable energy and hydrogen production facilities, employ demand forecasting to optimize supply chains, and streamline operations and maintenance. Both companies will also consider accelerating the overseas expansion of this business.

Koji Nakaoka, a Yokogawa senior vice president and head of the company's Energy & Sustainability Business Headquarters and Global Sales Headquarters, said, “In accordance with Yokogawa's Purpose, which states, ‘Utilizing our ability to measure and connect, we fulfill our responsibilities for the future of our planet,' we shall undertake investigations that include working with Tsubame BHB on the development of solutions that enable ammonia manufacturing and provision with a low environmental burden, for the achievement of a decarbonized society.”


About Tsubame BHB

Tsubame BHB was established in April 2017 with the aim of being the first company to put an on-site ammonia synthesis system into practical use. Currently, ammonia is produced in large-scale plants using a high-temperature and high-pressure technology that was invented 100 years ago. In contrast, we are developing technology for the production of ammonia at a low temperature, low pressure, and on a small scale, so it will be possible to provide ammonia efficiently and at low cost. By doing so, we will be able to design a mother plant for the mass production of ammonia, build a plant operation and maintenance business, and make the catalyst currently being studied in our company. Together with employees who aspire "to realize a sustainable society by solving human problems related to environmental and food problems by utilizing original technologies," which is our company's corporate mission, we will constantly try new things, innovate and expand.

About Yokogawa

Yokogawa provides advanced solutions in the areas of measurement, control, and information to customers across a broad range of industries, including energy, chemicals, materials, pharmaceuticals, and food. Yokogawa addresses customer issues regarding the optimization of production, assets, and the supply chain with the effective application of digital technologies, enabling the transition to autonomous operations.
Founded in Tokyo in 1915, Yokogawa continues to work toward a sustainable society through its 17,000+ employees in a global network of 129 companies spanning 60 countries.
For more information, visit www.yokogawa.com

The names of corporations, organizations, products, services and logos herein are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Yokogawa Electric Corporation, Tsubame BHB Co., Ltd. or their respective holders.