Earlier this month BOC, a member of The Linde Group, announced it had signed a collaboration agreement with CSIRO that would see the two organisations work together on CSIRO’s $3.4m ammonia to hydrogen (H2) cracking and membrane purification project.
As part of the agreement, BOC will contribute in-kind gas products, equipment and technical expertise worth in excess of AU$100,000 ($80,000) for the two-year project now underway at CSIRO’s test site in Pullenvale, Brisbane.
BOC will supply ammonia, which will be cracked and purified into pure H2 by the modular membrane technology unit developed by CSIRO. BOC engineers will also assist with compressing the H2 and storing it in special cylinder packs, then distributing it to customers on the Australian east coast for use in H2 fuel cell vehicles.
The revolutionary project is set to advance the global transition towards clean H2 for mobility and energy - and has potential to create a H2 export industry that will benefit Australia.
gasworld spoke exclusively with Alex Dronoff, BOC’s General Manager for H2, to discuss the collaboration and what this technology means for industry.
How has the collaboration come about?
As a member of Hydrogen Mobility Australia, BOC is committed to working with Hyundai, Toyota and other stakeholders involved in the supply chain to promote H2 as a fuel and energy source of the future. With strong industry connections and extensive global experience in the H2 space, BOC was well placed to collaborate with the CSIRO research team and provide in-kind support for the project.
What does this technology mean for the industry?
This CSIRO project could potentially provide a missing link in the global H2 supply chain, allowing renewable H2 to be exported as ammonia and cracked back into pure H2 at the point of use. This technology could open the door for a renewable H2 export market in Australia to meet rising demand in emerging markets Europe, Japan and South Korea.
How is hydrogen infrastructure developing in Australia?
While development of H2 infrastructure in Australia is slower than other regions, there is growing recognition from industry and government that H2 is a fuel of the future.
What is the potential for hydrogen in Australia?
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has named renewable H2 or ammonia export as a key priority in its investment strategies, while several State Governments have recently released their own H2 roadmaps and plans.
Hyundai and Toyota are now raising awareness about H2 fuel cell vehicles in Australia, which is also increasing interest in H2 for mobility.