Green hydrogen for road transport in Western Australia (21.RP2.0094)

Road transport emits about 15% of the total greenhouse gases (GHGs) in Australia, making this sector the third highest contributor to GHG emissions after electricity and stationary energy production [1]. Heavy vehicles such as rigid and articulated trucks, currently fuelled by diesel, have a disproportionate impact on such emissions. Statistical data from 2018-19 shows that 43% of the total GHG emissions generated by road transport in Western Australia (4.7 million tons CO2- eq) were produced by diesel fuelled trucks, which represent only 4% of the total on-road vehicle population in WA [2]. Currently there are two main technologies to power the zero-emission truck fleet of the future: one is based on electric batteries (EBs) and the other on hydrogen used in fuel cells (HFCs) or in internal combustion engines (H2-ICEs).

Hydrogen, though, is considered a better option as a fuel for heavy haulage vehicles that require longer ranges, shorter refuelling times and are weight constrained. It is predicted that by 2030 the widespread adoption of HFCs, currently hindered by high costs and lack of refuelling stations, will result in 5% savings to own, operate and fuel medium and heavy-duty trucks compared to conventional combustion technologies [3]. In the years to come, hydrogen powered trucks and their supporting infrastructure will have to be produced and tested to ensure they can meet or exceed the current standards in terms of performance, reliability, and safety.

This project aims at designing and implementing a pilot program which will contribute to the development of the entire industry supply chain for hydrogen fuelled heavy haul vehicles in WA, including hydrogen production, transportation, refuelling infrastructure and vehicle marketing. In Phase 1 of this project, a techno-economic analysis for hydrogenbased heavy transport infrastructure in WA will be completed. The pilot program will be designed and executed in Phase 2, using, initially, a maintenance truck operated by MRWA and a concrete agitator operated by BGC in the Midwest and Perth regions respectively, which will be serviced in a purpose-built hydrogen refuelling station.

Partners: Curtin University, Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre, The University of Western Australia

Project Researchers: Prof Roberto Aguilera, Prof Criag Buckley, Dr Mauricio Di Lorenzo, Dr Einar Fridjonsson, Dr Brendan Graham, Prof Keith Hampson, Mr Ammar Shemery

Duration: 3 year

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