The first hydrogen produced in Australia using solar energy has been successfully exported to Japan, marking a milestone in what many could believe could be a major new industry.
The hydrogen was produced by QUT’s solar cells at Queensland’s Redlands Research Facility, and exported by Japan’s largest petroleum conglomerate, JXTG.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk applauded the partners making hydrogen export a reality.
“This demonstration of renewable hydrogen being successfully exported overseas is an exciting first step in producing and exporting hydrogen at a commercial scale in the future.”
QUT”s Professor Ian Mcakinnon said the hydrogen was in the form of the chemical methyl cyclohexane (MCH) which is in a safe form for export.
MCH was produced by adding water and acid to tolulene, and using solar energy in an electrochemical conversion process.
“In this form, hydrogen can be shipped using conventional road and pipeline infrastructure.
“Once it has arrived at its destination, the renewable hydrogen is extracted from the MCH and the toluene can be re-used in the transportation cycle.”
Queensland is one of a number of locations vying to produce clean hydrogen from renewable energy sources.
South Australia and the ACT have pilot hydrogen hydrolysis plants, while investors are behind large scale proposals being furthered in the Pilbara region of WA.
Palaszczuk also announced $250,000 in funding to establish a renewable hydrogen pilot plant at the Redlands facility.
“My Government’s commitment to backing renewable resources, combined with our existing gas pipeline infrastructure and export facilities make us the ideal state to lead the future production and export of hydrogen.”
Picture: Queensland Government/CSIRO hydrogen demonstration
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