Queensland University of Technology (QUT) has launched a new research centre to help the Australian LNG industry address the challenges of productivity, cost and decarbonisation, and support the establishment of a globally-leading hydrogen export industry over the next decade.
The Future Energy Exports Cooperative Research Centre (FEnEx CRC) will support Australia’s National Hydrogen Strategy developed in 2019 by Chief Scientist Alan Finkel and include a programme on Market & Sector Development to help establish hydrogen hubs.
“Our mission is to ensure Australia’s vital LNG industry remains competitive, reduces its environmental footprint, and helps to grow hydrogen exports for new emerging markets,” Professor Eric May, CEO of FEnEx CRC, said.
Professor Ian Mackinnon, from QUT’s Institute for Future Environments, said FEnEx would build on the extensive work QUT had already done in the green hydrogen sphere, including partnering with Japanese company JXTG to produce and export green hydrogen to Japan and leading a $7.5m research project to establish a renewable energy pilot plant producing green hydrogen at the Redlands Research Facility.
“The FEnEx CRC is an excellent opportunity to translate the skills from one industry, and to build another export industry in the world of green hydrogen storage and utilisation,” he said.
MacKinnon said this project also tied into the excellent work in renewables being carried out with the Future Battery Industries CRC at Redlands.
“If we are looking to build a green hydrogen export industry, we need to build better storage capacity of electrons in batteries, and of molecules, such as hydrogen.”
As part of the FEnEx CRC, QUT’s Mackinnon and Professor Anthony O’Mullane will be working on research projects involving the hydrogen export and value chains.
“This complements QUT’s activities in developing a renewable energy facility at Redlands to power the production of hydrogen using various electrolyser technologies,” O’Mullane said.
“This program will enable the next generation of scientists and engineers with the key skills for the transition to renewable power generation, storage, transport and utilisation.”
“This CRC will accelerate efforts in the development of cheaper, more stable catalysts for rapid deployment in commercial scale electrolysers to produce green hydrogen.”