Western Australia (WA) may soon be a world-leader in hydrogen production, with a project to produce low-emission hydrogen and graphite from sewage set to launch next year.
Water Corporation will provide biogas to technology company Hazer Group as feedstock for the Australian-first commercial demonstration project.
The operation at Woodman Point Wastewater Treatment Plant in Munster will produce 100 tonnes of fuel-grade hydrogen and 380 tonnes of graphite each year, WA Water Minister Dave Kelly announced last week.
The project capitalises on the waste product of biogas – mainly composed of methane and carbon dioxide – that is released during the wastewater treatment process as biosolids breaks down.
“Excess gas produced during the wastewater treatment process is currently burned off but this innovative technology will instead use it to create low-emission hydrogen and graphite,” Kelly said.
“This will help decarbonise the Water Corporation’s operations to further support its sustainability objectives, while generating additional revenue and staff training opportunities.
“I commend the Water Corporation for partnering with Hazer Group to facilitate this renewable waste-to-energy scheme.”
WA Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the project complements the WA Government’s Renewable Hydrogen Strategy, set up to position WA as a major producer, user and exporter of renewable hydrogen.
“This initiative represents an important first step towards kick-starting renewable hydrogen production capacity and driving the use of zero-emissions transport fuel for buses, heavy trucking, waste collection and light vehicle fleets,” MacTiernan said.
“In partnership with the City of Mandurah, Hazer Group is also exploring plans to establish WA’s first refuelling infrastructure hub with a grant from the WA Renewable Hydrogen Fund.”
Hazer Group Managing Director Geoff Ward said biogas delivery is set to start in 2021 and continue for three years.
“We are delighted to have executed the Gas Supply Agreement and Collaboration Deed with Water Corporation,” he said.
“We gratefully acknowledge the ongoing collaboration with Water Corporation, as well as the ongoing support from ARENA, and look forward to continuing to work with them to make this exciting project a success.”