Shandong powers ahead economically

By ZHAO RUIXUE in Jinan| (China Daily)| Updated : 2022-07-29

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An employee loads cargo bound for South Africa at Qingdao Port, Shandong province. [Photo by ZHANG JINGANG/FOR CHINA DAILY]

Province's growth attributed to innovation, forward-thinking

Fifty cold-chain trucks powered by hydrogen fuel cells took to roads early this month in Zibo, Shandong, as the province took another step toward using the clean energy resource.

All of the fuel cells in question use proton exchange membranes developed by Shandong Dongyue Future Hydrogen Energy Material, a company based in Zibo focused on new energy material innovation and development.

The membrane is a core component of the fuel cell. Powered by hydrogen, the fuel cells convert chemical energy into electricity via a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen ions produced by the reaction pass through the proton exchange membrane, forming a loop with the electrons and creating electricity.

According to Dongyue, the company spent 16 years developing the proton exchange membrane and is now one of the few in the world to have mastered the ability to develop and produce the material.

Since going into production in 2020, the company now has the ability to turn out about 1.5 million square meters of proton exchange membranes every year.

This new energy material project is the epitome of the province's efforts over the past decade to pursue innovation-driven, high-quality development.

During his three visits to Shandong over the past decade, President Xi Jinping encouraged the province to promote innovation-driven development and use it to take the lead in enhancing its socioeconomic development.

Shandong has been busy putting Xi's instructions to work. The province has been upgrading its heavy industries and making efforts to promote innovative industries. It has also been transforming traditional industries such as heavily polluting chemical factories and coal-fired power plants into ones that are efficient and environmentally friendly.

Since 2018 in particular, Shandong has been phasing out outdated production and has upgraded five key industrial sectors including chemicals, agriculture, finance and tourism.

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