The Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC), Rux Energy and the University of Sydney have joined forces on a collaborative research project that will deliver game-changing dispatchable hydrogen gas tanks.
Currently, the inability to store hydrogen efficiently is preventing it from being widely used as a zero-carbon fuel. To combat this, the Sydney-based research project, which commenced in March 2021, has developed new metal-organic frameworks for the high-performance adsorption of hydrogen.
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 the IMCRC funding has enabled the company to onboard the resources and expertise needed to develop the materials and safe and efficient storage of dispatchable hydrogen.
“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 per cent of carbon emissions,” Dr Kanga said.
“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.”
University of Sydney Professor Cameron Kepert highlighted that safe and efficient dispatchable storage of hydrogen is a major challenge for the hydrogen industry.
“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 the collaboration has 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 nine months, making significant headway towards the commercialisation of affordable green energy,” he said.
“The initial findings into efficient hydrogen storage are a testament to what can be achieved in Australia when we invest in commercially focused R&D though fast moving projects and collaborations.
“We’re confident that when this IMCRC activate project comes to an end in 2022, the outcomes will significantly accelerate the adoption of green hydrogen renewable energy within Australia and contribute to the reduction in CO2 emissions.”