On behalf of the Australian Government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced its approval of up to $9.4m funding for Hazer Group Limited to construct and operate a hydrogen production facility in Munster, Western Australia.
Hazer are seeking to build a $15.8m 100 tonnes per annum facility demonstrating the company’s hydrogen production technology which converts biogas from sewage treatment into hydrogen and graphite.
The process converts biomethane to renewable hydrogen and graphite using an iron ore catalyst, creating an alternative hydrogen pathway to the traditional approaches.
“Renewable hydrogen is typically produced by splitting water molecules using renewable electricity. However, Hazer’s process represents an alternative way to produce hydrogen using biogas sourced from wastewater treatment plants,” said Darren Miller, CEO of ARENA.
“If successful, this project will offer opportunities to replicate the technology across other treatment plants and landfill sites across Australia.”
Hazer will sell the renewable hydrogen for industrial applications and is exploring markets for graphite including carbon black, activated carbon and battery anode applications.
“This technology could help set up Australia as an exporter of hydrogen and open up new market opportunities from the graphite that is produced as a by-product of the hydrogen production process,” said Miller.
Geoff Ward, Managing Director of Hazer said, “We are delighted to have progressed through ARENA’s process and been selected for funding. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Australian Government through the important phrase of commercial development of this novel Australian technology.”
“This is a very significant interest in the potential for hydrogen to play an important role in the Australian economy through providing energy storage, services in grid support and resilience, in direct use as a transport fuel, and as a source of low emission heat and power.”
Hazer aims to complete construction of the facility by December 2020 and begin operations in January 2021.
ARENA’s funding is contingent upon a funding agreement being executed subject to conditions including a biogas supply agreement, a hydrogen offtake agreement and Hazer securing sufficient finance of the completion of the project.