Research collaboration to develop green hydrogen storage solution
The Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC), advanced materials start-up Rux Energy and the University of Sydney have teamed up for a research project aimed to deliver dispatchable hydrogen gas (H2) tanks.
The inability to store H2 efficiently is said to be preventing it from being widely used as a zero-carbon fuel. To combat this, researchers behind this project, which commenced in March 2021, have developed new metal-organic frameworks for the high-performance adsorption of H2.
The new materials are set to be integrated into field-ready tank prototypes for trials and testing with SME and large industry partners in 2022, with the overall goal to deliver affordable green hydrogen for heavy and long-distance electric vehicles by 2025.
Rux Energy Founder and CEO Dr Jehan Kanga said, “We’ve been able to use our recent findings as proof points to approach industry about new projects and look to globally relevant areas of expansion, including aviation and marine, which, along with trucking, would contribute to abating at least 12% of carbon emissions.”
The IMCRC activate funding enabled Rux Energy to onboard the resources and expertise needed to develop the materials and safe and efficient storage of dispatchable H2. IMCRC activate is a new funding initiative designed to help local manufacturers act and gain a competitive edge in the post-COVID world.
“What began as a $100,000 investment has catalysed more than $4 million in investments over the next three years, which speaks to the success of the collaboration,” Kanga said.
University of Sydney Professor Cameron Kepert said that safe and efficient dispatchable storage of H2 represents one of the central challenges on the road to the hydrogen economy. He pointed out that initiatives like IMCRC activate played a critical role in supporting local industry and future researchers to develop the capability and know-how to address those challenges.
“Research at the University of Sydney is driven by the big picture, so we’re excited to be involved in a research collaboration exploring something as time sensitive and globally relevant as the delivery of cost-effective green energy,” he said.
University of Sydney DECRA Fellow Dr Lauren Macreadie emphasised how this collaboration provided unique career opportunities in the global advanced materials industry.
“From day one, Rux embedded our students and postdoctorate researchers into their team, providing invaluable hands-on experience and setting them up for long-term success,” she said. David Chuter, IMCRC’s CEO and Managing Director, said that IMCRC was particularly pleased to be co-funding the development of game-changing affordable green energy within Australia.
“Rux Energy and the University of Sydney have had an incredibly fruitful research collaboration over the past 9 months, making significant headway towards the commercialisation of affordable green energy,” he said.
“The initial findings into efficient H2 storage are a testament to what can be achieved in Australia when we invest in commercially focused R&D through fast-moving projects and collaborations.
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