Response 227477090

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John Mott

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Ammonia Energy Association

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Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
Northern Territory
South Australia
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Western Australia

Your comments

Survey questions

What do you think are the two or three most significant recent developments in hydrogen?
The cracking/filtration system developed by the CSIRO and demonstrated in August 2018 which allows FCEV's to be refueled using hydrogen derived from ammonia. The development of solid oxide fuel cells and polymer electrolyte fuel cells which operate directly on ammonia.
What are the most important safety issues to consider in producing, handling and using hydrogen in Australia?
Hydrogen used to fuel PEM fuel cells must be 99.999 % pure to avoid poisoning the fuel cell. That degree of purity will not allow for any stenching compounds to be included and therefore the gas will be odourless. If a percentage of hydrogen gas is injected into existing gas supply piping infrastructure it is possible that some of the hydrogen may preferentially leak from metal piping etc. due to its molecule size and it will not take any stenching agent , such as mercaptan , with it. That means the hydrogen gas leaking will be odourless. Odourless flammable gases are an anathema to first responder and regulatory communities worldwide. From their point of view, the one redeeming feature of hydrogen is that it is a very light gas , so if the release is outdoors , it will very quickly dissipate.
What environmental and community impacts should we examine?
Blue hydrogen is that made in the traditional way using hydrocarbons but with CCS added to render it zero carbon. Green hydrogen is that made purely from renewable energy. With all the technical and cost issues surrounding CCS which we hear about continually, it might be more sensible and cost effective to go directly to green hydrogen rather than thinking we can use blue hydrogen as an interim solution.
How can Australia influence and accelerate the development of a global market for hydrogen?
The Japanese SIP energy carriers program have already made known their hydrogen related energy imports program which is quite aggressive. Time is very short for Australia to gear up to supply so the best thing we can do is commence gearing up ASAP. The market already exists, Australia needs to act quickly.
What are the top two or three factors required for a successful hydrogen export industry?
A few surplus GW of hydroelectric power would be very helpful however unfortunately, in Australia that doesn't exist! Therefore we need lots of GW of Solar and wind power to generate the necessary green hydrogen. The Japanese will require at least part of their hydrogen imports to be supplied as liquid ammonia, so Australia will need to build significant green ammonia production capability within the next decade, equivalent to at least our present ammonia production capacity.
What are the top two or three opportunities for the use of clean hydrogen in Australia?
Road, Rail and Marine transport. Energy storage for grid power generation.
What are the main barriers to the use of hydrogen in Australia?
Cost Infrastructure Perceived safety issues
What are some examples where a strategic national approach could lower costs and shorten timelines for developing a clean hydrogen industry?
Distributing hydrogen as liquid ammonia should dramatically reduce distribution and storage costs. The Japanese SIP energy carriers have made it known that importing hydrogen as liquid ammonia is more cost effective than other forms of hydrogen imports . Compliance with this would be an excellent strategy for Australia with potentially better financial returns.
What are Australia’s key technology, regulatory and business strengths and weaknesses in the development of a clean hydrogen industry?
Australia has demonstrated great strengths in developing our LNG and ammonia industries. It may be that our lack of hydroelectric generation capacity and potential could be viewed as a weakness when compared with other countries which have surplus capacity and more potential, however we will have to overcome this with large scale solar and wind capacity.
What workforce skills will need to be developed to support a growing clean hydrogen industry?
We will need to redirect lots of engineering and technician skills from areas such as oil &gas and fertilizer industries.
What areas in hydrogen research, development and deployment need attention in Australia? Where are the gaps in our knowledge?
Safety Storage and reticulation
Do you have any other comments or submissions to this process?
Yes we will have additional submissions from our global AEA organisation