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In Japan, natural gas and innovation are changing the way homes are powered

19th May 2017

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is a crucial part of Japan's energy mix: according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the country is the largest importer of LNG on the planet.

In Japan, one business is looking to harness the power of natural gas and make it an integral part of home life. The ENE-FARM is described by Tokyo Gas as being a residential-use fuel system which is able to "simultaneously produce electricity and hot water using city gas."

The system produces electricity by "extracting hydrogen from city gas and inducing a chemical reaction with the oxygen in the air," with water and heat also produced.

"It can convert (the) chemical energy of natural gas directly to electrical power," Hisataka Yakabe, general manager of R&D at Tokyo Gas, told CNBC's Sustainable Energy. "About half of the chemical energy is converted to electrical energy, and using the heat generated during power generation, hot water is produced simultaneously," Yakabe added.


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