Australian-first hydrogen project completes funding

Article by Amanda Jasi

HYDROGEN technology company Hazer’s commercial demonstration project – which will produce low-emission hydrogen and graphite – has completed funding. It has received investor commitments of A$8.4m (US$5.9m) and a A$6m loan facility, adding to a A$9.41m grant received in September 2019 from the Australian Government.

Hazer’s process will use an unprocessed iron ore catalyst to produce hydrogen and graphite, from biomethane in waste biogas. Biogas – primarily composed of methane and carbon dioxide (CO2) – is released as solid materials break down during wastewater treatment. According to the Government of Western Australia (WA), the project will be the first in Australia to produce graphite and renewable hydrogen from wastewater.

The planned facility will produce 100 t/y of fuel-grade hydrogen, and 380 t/y of graphite. Hydrogen is receiving widescale attention as an alternative energy carrier. Graphite can potentially be used in a number of industrial applications, such as lithium-ion battery production and water purification.

The facility will be located at Water Corporation’s (WC) Woodman Point Wastewater Treatment Plant in Munster, WA. WC is the principal supplier of water, wastewater, and drainage throughout WA. Under an existing memorandum of understanding, WC will supply biogas and the project site.

The demonstration project is expected to create 20 new jobs and help to sustain more than 100 others through contracting and within the supply chain.

In September 2019, Hazer said that construction of the facility was expected by December 2020, with operations to run from January 2021 to December 2023.

In May, the project received support from the Government of WA, which stated that it is in line with WA’s Renewable Hydrogen Strategy. Launched in July 2019, the strategy is to drive WA’s position as a producer and exporter of renewable hydrogen.

More widely, Australia launched a national strategy in November 2019, aiming to build its hydrogen sector into a global export industry by 2030. In May, a A$300m fund was announced as part of the strategy.

Article by Amanda Jasi

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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