By: Rubina Obaid
Australian based technology company Hazer Group announced its verdict to proceed with the investment of developing a commercial demonstration plant (CDP), in order to convert biogas to hydrogen and graphite. As Hydrogen is found in the form of compound in nature and can be obtained through natural gas, petroleum, and coal using the steam reforming process.
Future energy system needs to be more environmentally friendly, cleaner and sustainable. Whereas, currently the world’s 85% of energy requirement is being met from fossil-based fuels and it is going to be doubled by 2050. Among the new energy sources hydrogen is considered as one of the most promising candidates for replacing fossil fuels and plays a significant role in reducing carbon emission when produced through renewable sources. Hydrogen is found in the form of compound in nature and can be obtained through natural gas, petroleum, and coal using the steam reforming process. Thus, green hydrogen is obtained through renewable energy sources by implementing an economically viable technology which is also known as biogas steam reforming (BSR).
Australian based technology company Hazer Group announced the project on July 31, about its verdict to proceed with the investment of developing a commercial demonstration plant (CDP), in order to convert biogas to hydrogen and graphite. Water Minister Dave Kelly and Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan announced to use water gas (Biogas) for hydrogen and graphite production projects. To swiftly proceed with the process, the delivery of biogas is scheduled in the coming year. According to Hazer, a commercial demonstration plant (CDP) will be the pioneer in developing the fully integrated plant for the deployment of the process. Excess gas which is produced due to the wastewater treatment process, will now be used to obtain low emission hydrogen and graphite through the innovative technology. Which will in turn greatly contribute to mitigating carbon footprints and meeting sustainability objectives. The entire process will open new opportunities for employees while creating additional source of revenue.
The three-year operation program will produce around a hundred tons of fuel-grade hydrogen and 380 tons of graphite each year. The project will utilize around 2 million standard cubic meters of biogas that is currently being burnt. “Hydrogen is an increasingly important renewable fuel source, and the world-leading project will showcase our state’s capacity in the hydrogen industry through the commercialization of a technology that is developed right here in WA. The Hazer Group project aligns perfectly with the MacGowan Government’s Renewable Hydrogen Strategy, set up to position WA as a major producer, user, and exporter of renewable hydrogen” says MacTiernan.
The technology will majorly capitalize on the waste product of biogas which is primarily composed of methane and carbon dioxide. As the solid matter (biosolids) are broken down in the wastewater treatment process waste product of biogas is obtained which is further used in the process. The Capex budget for the project is $17 million with potential chances of expansion to include a stationary hydrogen fuel cell power generation system. This will also allow the company to use some of the hydrogen, for renewable energy generation for the company. The technology was developed at the University of Western Australia before being acquired by the Hazer group. The CDP is expected to commence-commissioning activities in the second quarter of 2021 and expected to operate for the next three years.