Australia, Projects, Renewables

Curtin’s $5m ARENA grant fuels hydrogen innovation

green hydrogen, hydrogen production

Curtin University has been awarded $5 million in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) for its Kotai Hydrogen Project, developed in partnership with Velox Energy Materials.

The project aims to revolutionise hydrogen production and transportation, potentially transforming Perth into a hydrogen hub.

The project will utilise a new method of hydrogen production and transportation, pioneered by Curtin’s Hydrogen Storage Research Group (HSRG).

Led by John Curtin Professor Craig Buckley, the HSRG has developed a renewable process that can quickly and cheaply revert the by-product, sodium metaborate, back into the hydrogen carrier, sodium borohydride, allowing for its reuse.

“Our aim is to provide a circular hydrogen export value chain,” Professor Buckley said . “The lower costs attached to this method’s production and transport could make it potentially the cheapest means of exporting hydrogen from Australia, playing a part in meeting the rapidly rising global demand.”

The project will see the construction of a pilot facility in Perth to evaluate the technology for large-scale production directly from renewable electricity. Curtin and Velox Energy Materials will also contribute additional cash commitments to the overall project.

Peta Ashworth, Director of the Curtin Institute for Energy Transition, emphasised the global significance of the project.

“The whole world has been working to reduce the end-to-end costs of clean hydrogen, and it is fantastic to see Australia playing a significant part in delivering on that aspiration through this funded Curtin research,” Ashworth said.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller praised the project, highlighting the importance of supporting Australian technological innovation to help build clean industries and underpin the nation’s ambitions of becoming a renewable energy superpower.

“Innovation starts in the lab, and we have the best minds taking our decarbonisation efforts to the next level – to the benefit of all Australians through jobs, lower emissions and cheaper energy,” Miller said.

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