RFC Ambrian partners with the CSIRO to develop solid oxide electrolysis technology for greener hydrogen production at the newly established Hadean Energy.
Australia’s national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), has partnered with RFC Ambrian to establish Hadean Energy, a company dedicated to commercialising CSIRO’s tubular solid oxide electrolysis (tSOE) technology. This innovation aims to reduce hydrogen production costs by utilising 30% less electricity compared to existing alkaline and polymer electrolyte membrane technologies, potentially revolutionising the green hydrogen industry and decarbonising heavy sectors.
The International Energy Agency forecasts a 138% increase in hydrogen demand by 2030, but high production costs and energy consumption pose challenges. CSIRO’s tSOE technology employs ceramic tubes with electrodes inside and out to produce hydrogen through water electrolysis, requiring less than 42 kWh of electricity per kilogram of hydrogen, in contrast to the approximately 60 kWh/kg needed by alkaline and polymer electrolyte membrane alternatives.
Sarb Giddey, lead scientist on hydrogen research at CSIRO, emphasised the technology’s potential to increase efficiency, lower costs, and reduce emissions by integrating industrial waste heat into the hydrogen production process. The resulting decrease in electricity consumption and elimination of storage and transport costs could significantly impact the industry.
RFC Ambrian’s Chief Investment Officer, Stefan Skorut, highlighted the importance of addressing the scalability and cost of electrolysers to make green hydrogen and synthetic fuels economically viable. CSIRO’s tubular SOE technology is seen as a major advancement in this regard.
A pilot scale demonstration plant will be established at BlueScope’s Port Kembla Steelworks in April 2024 to validate the technology in an industrial setting. The results will guide further development and scalability efforts, with Hadean Energy securing exclusive rights over the SOE technology.
This collaboration signifies a pivotal step toward more efficient and cost-effective green hydrogen production, aligning with the growing global demand for sustainable energy solutions.
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