Hadean Energy driving hydrogen for heavy industry

Close up shot of CSIRO’s tubular solid oxide electrolysis (SOE) technology (Hadean Energy)
CSIRO’s tubular solid oxide electrolysis (SOE) technology (Image: CSIRO)

Australia’s national science agency CSIRO and corporate advisor RFC Ambrian have co-founded a new company called Hadean Energy to commercialise cutting-edge technology that can produce hydrogen with 30% less electricity and help to decarbonise heavy industry.

CSIRO will trial the technology at BlueScope’s Port Kembla Steelworks to demonstrate the equipment at pilot scale in an industrial environment.

Related article: Australia must accelerate hydrogen-powered transport future

CSIRO’s tubular solid oxide electrolysis (SOE) technology efficiently produces hydrogen by electrolysing water using a combination of heat and electricity and promises to significantly reduce hydrogen production costs and industry emissions through process efficiencies.

Dr Sarb Giddey, lead scientist on hydrogen research at CSIRO, said the development of tubular SOE technology at CSIRO is a key project aimed at producing more affordable and efficient hydrogen to help industry dramatically reduce emissions.

“CSIRO’s SOE technology has the potential to produce hydrogen at a higher efficiency and lower cost for integration with industrial processes,” Dr Giddey said.

“It allows industrial waste heat to be integrated back into the industrial processes, which decreases the electrical energy required to produce hydrogen or syn-gas by up to 30%.

“It’s great news for industry, because integrating the hydrogen product back into industrial processes onsite also eliminates storage and transport costs while drastically reducing the use of fossil fuels in the industrial process,” Dr Giddey said.

The hydrogen product can be used as a feedstock for producing chemicals including ammonia, petrochemical, methanol, dimethyl ether, sustainable fuels and has applications in low emission steelmaking and heavy transport. Being free of platinum group metals and nickel also reduces reliance on international supply chains.

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Hadean Energy will have exclusive rights over CSIRO’s SOE technology.

The trial with BlueScope will commence in April 2024. Integration aspects and other findings from the trial will help to demonstrate the technology at a higher scale and confirm the technical robustness of the equipment.

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