Paths to a sustainable hydrogen supply chain (21.RP2.0065)

Hydrogen production, storage and transport are seen as key enabling technologies to allow the transition to a hydrogen economy. However, there remains multiple challenges facing such supply chain development. Technology readiness, technology scale-up and access to low-cost renewable electricity remain significant hurdles; overcoming these will be pivotal in unlocking such a hydrogen economy. This project will focus on the development of a convenient tool to allow for the evaluation of hydrogen supply chain options predominately in an Australian context. The Hydrogen supply chain consists of four key stages; (1) production, (2) storage, (3) transport, and (4) utilisation. Within each of these stages, there are multiple potential technologies, leading to numerous potential supply chain options.

To this end we will develop a web-based tool which is convenient and intuitive to use. It will be adaptable to variable user inputs and supply chain component preferences and will output a detailed overview of the dispensed hydrogen total (and component) costs as well as collective technological readiness. Currently such cost estimate forecasting is largely done on a case by case basis. Given the number of potential technologies, resources and costs associated with the four stages of the supply chain, the number of potential value chains is very large; hence the tool will focus the economic assessment on a subset of chains as dictated by user preferences and selected input data. As such the tool will allow industry to rapidly and quantitatively consider different hydrogen supply chain scenarios.

Having established the tool, the project will progress various specific hydrogen supply chain scenarios as supplied by the sponsoring industrial partners, so as to develop case studies to demonstrate its worth. The final task will consider options to sustain the tool such that it is up-to-date and hence remains relevant for the foreseeable future.

Partners: Wood Group Pty Ltd, Horizon Power, Mineral Resources Ltd, The University of Western Australia

Project Researchers: Dr Saif al Ghafri

Duration: 2 years

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