Energy grant set to supercharge affordable renewable hydrogen technology

Monash University

Associate Professor Alexandr N. Siminov’s Advance Renewable Hydrogen Production Technoloy project has been awarded $2.3 million in ARENA funding.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has awarded $2.3 million in funding to Monash University’s Advance Renewable Hydrogen Production Technology project in support of its efforts to revolutionise the commercialisation of renewable hydrogen production.

Led by Associate Professor Alexandr N. Simonov, ARC Future Fellow in the Monash School of Chemistry, the project also received an additional $1 million from collaborating partners, including Monash University, the University of Sydney, CSIRO, Endua, IXOM and Woodside Energy.

Under the guidance of its leadership team made up of members of the collaborating partners – including Associate Professor Simonov, Professor Douglas Macfarlane, Professor Huanting Wang, Professor Antonio Tricoli, Dr Sarb Giddey, Dr Paul Sernia, Dr Khozema Kaka, Ben Hart and Dr Jitendra Joshi – the project aims to harness high-efficiency water electrolysis technology with proton-exchange electrolytes to achieve significant cost reductions in renewable hydrogen production.

Through meticulous research and development, the project will use scalable, industry-ready methods to aim to develop cutting-edge proton-exchange water electrolysers using noble-metal-free catalysts, high-conductivity membranes and porous transport layers. The effectiveness of the new materials will be first demonstrated in the laboratory-scale electrolyser devices under conditions that mimic industrial settings. The ultimate aim of the project is to take the technology from the lab to the real world by transitioning the devices to a larger demonstration scale and ensuring they work in a variety of environments, including when fed by saltwater.

These advancements are set to eliminate the reliance on highly expensive components such as iridium, other noble metals and fluorinated membranes. If successful, the resulting technology has the potential to enable multi-gigawatt installations and expected to provide capital expenditure savings of up to 18 percent for water electrolysis plants, corresponding to immediate cost reductions of renewably generated hydrogen by up to 16 percent.

“We are thrilled to partner with ARENA on this groundbreaking initiative” said Professor Paul Webley, Director of the Woodside Monash Energy Partnership. “This funding enables us to push the boundaries of renewable hydrogen production, bringing us closer to a sustainable energy future.”

The project represents a collaborative effort between academic partners, CSIRO and key industry stakeholders, underscoring the collective commitment to driving innovation in renewable energy technologies.

About the Woodside Monash Energy Partnership

The Woodside Monash Energy Partnership is a leading innovator in renewable energy technologies, dedicated to advancing sustainability and environmental stewardship through cutting-edge research and development initiatives.

/Public Release. View in full here.