Hydrogen fuel breakthrough in Queensland could fire up massive new export market
In Brisbane, two cars would be tested with hydrogen that is derived from ammonia today. Thanks to Queensland, the CSIRO researchers have an instinct that this idea will turn Australia into a renewable energy superpower.
The CSIRO principal research scientist named Michael Dolan expressed his excitement and said that he is very excited for the project which took a decade for them to make.
“We started out with what we thought was a good idea, it is exciting to see it on the cusp of commercial deployment,” he reported.
Researchers have worked on this project for almost a decade. This project had the will of producing ultra-high purity hydrogen for which they used an unique membrane technology. The breakthrough of the membrane will allow hydrogen to be transported securely and be used as the mass production energy source.
“We are certainly the first to demonstrate the production of very clean hydrogen from ammonia,” Dr Dolan said.
“Today is the very first time in the world that hydrogen cars have been fuelled with a fuel derived from ammonia — carbon-free fuel.”
The leader of the program named David Harris claims that Australia is rich of renewable energy sources which can be used to generate hydrogen. Some of these include, sunlight and the wind.
But a problem that they would face is when they will have to transport the huge amount of hydrogen across large distances. This has two reasons, the first one is that hydrogen is highly flammable and the second is that it is a low density gas. This problem is also solved by the CSIRO researchers when they thought of converting hydrogen gas into ammonia gas for transport or shipping purposes. This is how the hydrogen gas will reach the mass market of Asia.
As soon as hydrogen gas is shipped in the form of ammonia gas, it can again be converted to hydrogen by using their membrane. Then hydrogen gas will finally be pumped into powered cars.
Five powered cars in Australia
At the moment, there are only five powered cars in Australia, while there are tens of thousands across Japan, South Korea, and Singapore.
“The key here is we can transport the hydrogen from the place where it is produced from renewable energy — let’s say maybe that is in outback WA — and we can ship that form of ammonia anywhere in the world,” Dr Harris claims.