Fortescue designs and builds its own electrolyser

The Fortescue team that designed and built the electrolyser
Image: FFI

Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) has achieved another ambitious target, making hydrogen using an electrolyser designed and built by its in-house team.

A small team from FFI’s manufacturing arm developed the innovative electrolyser in their Western Australia facility, producing industrial grade hydrogen for the first time earlier this week.

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FFI has developed a number of new electrolyser technologies that will form part of their electrolyser patent family.

The outcomes of these projects will inform FFI’s electrolyser technology selection going forward, as FFI works towards its target to produce 15 million tonnes of green hydrogen per year by 2030.

Fortescue CEO Julie Shuttleworth said, “This is another outstanding achievement from our FFI in-house scientists and engineers – who are continuing to break new ground.

“The FFI team has designed and operated our own electrolyser system which will be key to developing FFI’s green hydrogen production into the future,” Shuttleworth said.

Fortescue chairman Dr Andrew Forrest AO said, “This electrolyser was internally designed, built and commissioned by a small, dedicated team of experts—an impressive achievement that is representative of the hard work that is happening across the whole of FFI.

“The team spent thousands of hours on this project, facing setbacks along the way, but they pushed forward and managed to produce hydrogen before their stretch target date—something they should be incredibly proud of.

“This is not the first time FFI’s team of experts have beaten their stretch targets. Earlier this year, FFI retrofitted a huge mining haul truck to run on hydrogen, producing only steam, in just 130 days,” Dr Forrest said.

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FFI is in the process of installing solar panels at FFI’s Dawson Road facility which will mean the electrolyser will be able to produce green hydrogen in 2022.

The stack that produced the hydrogen is a pressurised alkaline system. The internally designed supporting hydrogen gas management system is fully operational and will be used to test all of FFI’s prototypes and designs.