Fortescue’s JV developing next-gen ‘cost-competitive’ hydrogen tech

Sparc Hydrogen, Forestecue Future Industries’ (FFI) joint venture with Sparc Technologies Limited and the University of Adelaide, has been researching and developing a photocatalytic water splitting process which has the potential to make green hydrogen production cheaper at scale.

Illustration. Image: Pixabay

The photocatalytic water splitting process uses the sun’s radiation and thermal properties to convert water into hydrogen and oxygen.

A preliminary techno-economic analysis (TEA) by Sparc Hydrogen has confirmed that if successfully developed, the technology has the potential to create energy efficiencies and a cost competitive advantage, because of the low capital and operating expenditure required, compared to renewable energy and electrolysis.

Based on positive outcomes of the preliminary TEA, the Sparc Hydrogen joint venture partners have agreed to accelerate the project schedule and immediately commence scoping work on a pilot plant.

FFI welcomed the progress and plans to complement its existing hydrogen plans and potentially make green hydrogen production cheaper at scale.

“Our goal is to develop green hydrogen and renewable energy innovations and technology, with a specific focus on decarbonising hard-to-abate industries that can be commercialised fast”, said FFI’s CEO Mark Hutchinson.

“If this Sparc Hydrogen technology is successful, it could ultimately be used to help produce green hydrogen at a larger and much more affordable scale.”

Sparc Technologies’ executive chairman, Stephen Hunt, added: “Today marks a significant milestone for Sparc Technologies and the Sparc Hydrogen JV, with the preliminary TEA confirming the potential of this green hydrogen technology. The decision to accelerate a pilot plant is evidence of the joint venture partners’ enthusiasm and is an important step on the path to commercialisation.”

Recently, FFI entered into an agreement with Tree Energy Solutions (TES) to develop the ‘world’s largest’ green hydrogen integrated project to help Europe mitigate its current energy and climate crisis.

The first phase of the partnership will see joint development and investment in the supply of 300,000 tonnes of green hydrogen with final locations being currently agreed and the final investment decision (FID) expected in 2023.

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