Sparc and Fortescue accelerate novel green hydrogen process

Adelaide’s Sparc Technologies and Fortescue Future Industries will accelerate scoping of the commercialisation of a revolutionary green hydrogen production process that does not utilise energy-hungry electrolysis.

The partners, along with Adelaide and Flinders Universities, are in a joint venture to commercialise patent-pending photocatalytic water splitting technology with the aim of producing low-cost green hydrogen on a commercial scale.

The decision to speed commercialisation came on the completion of a preliminary Techno-Economic Analysis of the Sparc Green Hydrogen process which Sparc said had had a ‘positive outcome’.

Sparc Technologies Executive Chairman, Stephen Hunt, said: “Today marks a significant milestone for Sparc Technologies and the Sparc Hydrogen JV, with the preliminary TEA confirming the low-cost potential of this green hydrogen technology.

“The decision to accelerate a pilot plant is evidence of the JV partner’s enthusiasm and is an important step on the path to commercialisation.”

Fortescue Future Industries CEO, Mark Hutchinson said the results of the TEA were welcome news.

Hutchinson said: “Fortescue is building a world-wide tech network to encourage scientists and engineers from across the globe to advance research and development in technologies.

“Our goal is to develop green hydrogen and renewable energy innovations and technology, with a specific focus on decarbonising hard-to-abate industries that can be commercialised fast.”

Sparc Hydrogen is seeking to commercialise a process known as photocatalytic water splitting, which employs the sun’s radiation and thermal properties to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen.

Sparc Hydrogen is utilising technology developed by the University of Adelaide and Flinders University in the form of a solar reactor with the ability to improve the performance of a chosen photocatalyst material.

The preliminary TEA commenced in early 2022 with the key objective of demonstrating the relationship between solar to hydrogen efficiencies (STH) assumed for Sparc Hydrogen’s solar reactor and the levelised cost of hydrogen (LCOH) produced.

Since project commencement, the University of Adelaide has been undertaking fundamental research at laboratory scale and has successfully demonstrated advances in solar reactor design and performance
under a range of simulated solar conditions.

Image: Sparc Technologies

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