QUT will lead a $7.5 million research project to establish a pilot plant producing hydrogen from renewable energy.
Funding of $3.35 million was announced today by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) as part of ARENA’s Research and Development Program – Renewable Hydrogen for Export and is supported by financial and in-kind support from industry and university project partners.
The pilot plant is planned to be installed at the Redlands Research Facility south of Brisbane and use locally produced solar energy to extract hydrogen from treated non-drinking water, such as seawater.
The project is being led by Professor Ian Mackinnon from QUT’s Institute for Future Environments who said it was anticipated that hydrogen would become a major clean carrier of energy in the future.
Professor Mackinnon said energy would be drawn from a Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV) array at the Redlands facility which QUT has been testing in an existing joint project with Japanese energy giant Sumitomo Electric Industries who is also one of the pilot plant partners.
“This solar energy will be supplemented by commercially available battery packs to extract hydrogen from treated water,” he said.
“The hydrogen will then be fed into a fuel cell and back into the grid to re-supply power to the local system.”
Professor Mackinnon said the collaborative project also involves Griffith University, Swinburne University of Technology, The University of Tokyo and industry partner Energy Developments Pty Limited.
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