RP1.4-09 Industrial pathways to 100% hydrogen

Executive Summary

Approximately 30% of the gas transported by Australia’s natural gas distribution network is used by a relatively small number of industrial customers. These industrial customers are more likely to operate high temperature processes that favour combustion of gases over electrification and are therefore interested in hydrogen as a potential future source of low carbon energy.

Whilst this transition is theoretically possible, only a limited number of detailed studies or trials of 100% hydrogen conversion have been completed to date. This lack of information is leading to a reluctance of industrial customers to consider hydrogen as a potential fuel source and is slowing the decarbonisation work of large gas users as they struggle to identify a sustainable business path to net-zero.

The major outcome sought from this project is a demonstration (large scale test) of the feasibility of operating industrial processes on hydrogen and a detailed implementation pathway for the industries that participated in the project. This demonstration will be conducted by the industrial partner with the CRC providing research support and advice. This will ensure HSE, equipment and production risks for the industrial partner remain within their control.

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Commencement / End Date 12/2023 to
Outcomes / Impact

This research will detail:

a. Development of a generalised, flowcharted process that outlines the key steps to assess feasibility of hydrogen conversion. This framework will be based on the process developed and followed for project participants and will become the framework for other 3rd parties to use.
b. Detailed investigation of changes required to existing equipment and processes of all industry participants. This will include nominal costings.
Example: An annealing furnace requires certain components of its gas-train to be replaced, limited modification to the furnaces and the certain modifications to the control software to run on hydrogen.
c. On-site large-scale testing of at least one industrial process to validate the preceding steps. This step is important to understand if existing production processes require modification to adapt to the different combustion, heat-transfer and flue-gas characteristics of hydrogen.

Partners University of Adelaide, AGIG, Jemena, Electrolux, Bradkin (Non-CRC), APA,
Research Contact

Jeremy Harris