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Project overview
  • Lead Organisation

    Future Energy Exports CRC Limited

    Location

    Western Australia

    ARENA Program

    Hydrogen Research and Development Funding Round

  • Start date

    31 March 2024

    End date

    31 July 2028

  • Project Partners
    The University of Melbourne, The University of Western Australia

Summary

This project targets the development of cost-effective, safe hydrogen liquefaction for domestic and global supply chains.

Need

This project was selected as part of the competitive Hydrogen R&D Funding Round under the Transformative Research Accelerating Commercialisation (TRAC) Program to rapidly develop the critical technologies required to build a clean, innovative, safe, and competitive hydrogen industry and position Australia as a major player globally. While hydrogen technologies and targets have continued to evolve, R&D investment remains a critical imperative to commercialise clean hydrogen. Projects supported by the Hydrogen R&D Funding Round seek to progress the commercialisation of low cost, clean hydrogen in Australia.

Liquid hydrogen’s (LH2) advantages include high volumetric energy density and end-use versatility, particularly for extremely high purity applications (e.g. fuel cells). However, LH2 remains expensive due to the significant energy penalty associated with the cooling to -253℃ needed for liquefaction. Furthermore, safety concerns regarding equipment failure and/or uncontrolled releases of cryogenic hydrogen (CH2) into the environment increase the capital cost of LH2 plant and distribution infrastructure considerably.

Action

The Project aims to deliver a step-change in H2 liquefaction cost through two key advances: novel mixed refrigerant (MR) cycles reducing energy consumption, and new design tools producing smaller, safer plant layouts through better understood exclusion zone requirements. Testing facilities will be constructed to demonstrate new MR hydrogen liquefaction cycles and help de-risk future commercial-scale plants. New thermodynamic and phase behaviour knowledge about MRs and CH2-in-air will be developed from molecular simulations and integrated into fluid dynamic models to produce validated design tools. These will help optimise and scale-up liquefaction equipment, such as turbines/compressors, and accurately determine safe LH2 plant layouts.

In the Research Commercialisation Stage, the project will identify specific projects or application where the tools designed as part of the Core Research Stage can be integrated in real-world testing grounds to test for functionality and effectiveness. The project will involve the design of a 100kg/day MR based hydrogen liquefaction pilot plant. Future Energy Exports CRC will undertake negotiations with potential industry partners for potential licencing of the technology such that it can be deployed at a commercial scale.

Outcome

The objectives for the project will be achieved through the following outcomes:

  1. accelerated commercialisation of renewable hydrogen through innovative research and development (R&D) in hydrogen storage and distribution technologies
  2. increased academic research capacity in the Australian hydrogen sector, and the facilitation of collaboration between research groups and industry
  3. improvement in the technology readiness and commercial readiness of hydrogen storage and distribution technologies
  4. novel refrigerants for lower cost hydrogen liquefaction (up to 50% reduced energy consumption)
  5. improved efficiency of hydrogen liquefaction technologies for hydrogen storage at large scales, and
  6. safer and cost-effective plant design by accurately modelling uncontrolled hydrogen release.
Last updated
01 May 2024
Last updated 01 May 2024
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