© Hazer Group
© Hazer Group

Hazer Group produces first hydrogen and graphite from methane pyrolysis in Australia

Hazer Group has started hydrogen and graphite production from methane pyrolysis technology at its demonstration plant in Perth, Australia.

Utilising its HAZER® Process, which uses natural gas and unprocessed iron as feedstock, on Wednesday (January 31), the company said it achieved first hydrogen and graphite production.

Methane pyrolysis involves breaking down methane into hydrogen and solid carbon. Typically conducted at high temperatures in the absence of oxygen, the process delivers has been praised for delivering a usable form of carbon. Learn more with Class of H2.

The company anticipates ramping up operations at the Commercial Demonstration Plant (CDP) throughout H1 2024, to complete a performance testing programme.

Hoped to demonstrate the technology’s commercial readiness, the programme will focus on continuous operation at a commercial scale.

Describing the development as a “landmark achievement” for the company, Glenn Corrie, CEO and Managing Director of Hazer, said, “The CDP is the culmination of over 10 years of leading-edge research, development and engineering innovation, and is a testament to the Hazer team’s dedication…in reaching this milestone.”

Corrie said while testing would continue at the Perth site, he was excited to build on the momentum for the scale-up of the technology with partners in markets such as North America, Europe and Asia.

“Our pipeline of opportunities is growing and with our CDP proving our technology can operate at a commercial scale, I’m confident that 2024 will open up further demand for our disruptive technology,” he said.

Turquoise hydrogen from methane pyrolysis

methane pyrolysis tileAt present, about 95% of the hydrogen that is produced is derived from fossil fuels using various thermochemical processes. Gasification consumes solids such as petcoke and coal. Other gas-phase reforming processes are fed with methane, naphtha, or refinery gas.

Auto thermal reforming (ATR), steam methane reforming (SMR) and partial oxidation (POX) are the main thermochemical processes in play today. These processes produce syngas which is a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide. Sometimes, two out of the three processes are combined in series to produce the desired ratio of carbon monoxide to hydrogen. If hydrogen is the target gas, carbon monoxide may be reacted with steam and converted to carbon dioxide and hydrogen in a subsequent water-gas shift reactor.

These thermochemical processes produce about 10 kg of carbon dioxide (CO2) for each kg of hydrogen. If the CO2 is not captured, the resulting hydrogen is referred to as ‘grey’ or ‘black’ hydrogen…

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