Cost-effective renewable hydrogen through materials, modelling and process innovation (H2Xport Project)


This project aims to develop a generic, scalable and systematic process to evaluate the operational viability of decentralised and/or regional-scale renewable energy (RE) hybrid systems to generate (green) hydrogen (H2) for export. The project strategy is to build a benchmarking capacity using existing, readily available RE components to provide validated data for enterprise-scale economic modelling of performance as well as to provide a platform to test, at small pilot scale, the performance of new technologies developed through this project. The project will develop technologies in hydrogen production via electrolysis, in energy storage and in gas sensing. These technologies, when developed, will be integrated with the test-platform to benchmark against existing commercial standards.  

The primary focus of attention since commencement has been the design, construction, procurement, tendering and delivery of a ~50kW hybrid RE pilot plant that has integral energy storage, hydrogen production and hydrogen use via an appropriate micro-grid/control system. The intent has been to use predominantly off-the-shelf equipment to enable benchmarking of component and system performance with this pilot plant. Modelling and design have been key elements of desktop work, not only for the proposed pilot plant but also to translate attributes and lessons from pilot plant discussions to a broader generic integration of components into viable system solutions.  

Laboratory work has focused on improved understanding of battery components and battery performance (predominantly lithium-based batteries) and development of novel electrodes for improved alkaline electrolysis performance. Lithium-based battery cathode activities have used our benchmark lithium-iron-phosphate materials to assess optimum compositions (and source materials) for nickel-manganese-cobalt formats with good success. Other key compositions for potassium-based battery formats have also been defined and corrected in the literature. In addition, gap analysis and bench-scale work has focused on identifying optimal performance of sensors for low-temperature sensing of hydrogen gas in the presence of other gaseous components. This analysis has led to new experimental approaches to synthesise hybrid 2D materials to improve sensitivity and selectivity. 


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Funding / Grants

  • Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), Sumitomo Electric Industries, Energy Developments Ltd., CS Energy, Universities and Other In-Kind; Total: $9.2 million. (2018 - 2022)

Other Team Members

Griffith University: E McH Gray, J Webb  Swinburne University of Technology: M. Shafiei  University of Tokyo: M. Sugiyama