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Project overview


Unlock hydrogen exports by transporting hydrogen in a stable powder form via a powder sodium borohydride (NaBH4), a hydrogen storage material which liberates hydrogen when exposed to water, creating a by-product, sodium borate (NaBO2).


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


The Recipient will develop an efficient regeneration process to reconvert NaBO2 (sodium borate) into NaBH4 (sodium borohydride) using renewable energy to enable hydrogen export in a safe and low-cost manner.


There are three key Core Research Stage activities required to optimise production cost and allow for scaling the process for commercial production:

Optimisation of electrochemistry at increasing scale: Optimise the electrochemical conditions including voltage, current density, catalyst loading/composition, electrode configuration and membrane selection. This will allow sodium borohydride production at lower energy input and larger scale – effectively lowering the cost of hydrogen regeneration. The energy usage target is < 200 kWh/kg hydrogen;

Sodium borohydride processing: Optimise the extraction of sodium borohydride from the electrochemical cell for high throughput (via preferential dissolution in solvents, or by membrane filtration) to allow for continuous flow production of powder ready for export; and

High pressure hydrogen generation: Optimise a reactor process to allow for rapid hydrogen production from sodium borohydride at scale, with control over hydrogen production rates.

The Core Research Stage will directly feed into the Research Commercialisation Stage (pilot scale) to enable testing of critical chemical production and processing sub-systems in conjunction with cost optimisation protocols.

Last updated
10 April 2024
Last updated 10 April 2024
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