Last week, Brown Coal Innovation Australia (link) held their ‘Carbon to Products’ seminar at Federation University in Victoria’s lignite heartland, the Latrobe Valley.
Eager to find higher value, lower emission applications for Victoria’s world-class brown coal resource (other than just digging it up and burning it to make reliable, affordable electricity) the forum showcased some of the potential uses and research into these new technologies and the industry applications within the agriculture, manufacturing, transport, new energy and waste sectors.
The below article by Philip Hopkins for the Latrobe Valley Express highlights the keen interest by Japan’s Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) in producing hydrogen from brown coal.
KHI representative Hirofumi Kawazo painted the following vision for hydrogen in 2050:
- Hydrogen projected to supply 18 percent of the world’s final energy demand
- Reduce annual CO2 emissions by six gigatonnes
- Create 30 million jobs globally
- $2.5 trillion market.
The implications for Australia are clear:
- Australia has big potential to be a leading hydrogen society
- Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe signed an accord to jointly pursue opportunities in the hydrogen supply chain
- Victorian Lignite can play a leading role
The catch is, KHI’s process requires Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), which is expensive.
We can’t talk about the details of COHgen yet, as we’re progressing the patent process, but suffice to say COHgen has the potential to generate hydrogen from brown coal, delivering a higher value product from a low-cost resource for a market that is expected to grow exponentially in coming decades with the emergence of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCV’s).
We also think that the COHgen process could have a smaller CO2 footprint than the traditional gasification process selected by KHI, which may provide a competitive advantage down the track when it comes to scaling up and commercialisation of the process.
Further research and development are required to confirm and refine these important points, but we’re excited about the long-term prospects of this emerging market.
Kawasaki eyes Latrobe Valley coal for hydrogen
Latrobe Valley Express | 12 Febreuary 2018 | Philip Hopkins
Japanese giant Kawasaki aims to use Latrobe Valley brown coal to produce hydrogen in a project which would dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions and offer huge economic benefits for the region.
“There is potential for significant economic growth and job creation in the Latrobe Valley with new hydrogen-related industries,” a senior Kawasaki executive told a conference at Federation University last week…