Hydrogen generation for refuelling fuel cell vehicles (H2 Generation)

One step closer to an Australian renewable hydrogen industry

A bright blue Toyota Mirai which is a fuel cell vehicle that runs on hydrogen parked in front of a CSIRO banner

Toyota’s hydrogen powered vehicle Mirai at CSIRO’s Pullenvale site for the demonstration day (CSIRO)

The challenge

The growing global demand for clean hydrogen fuel represents a significant opportunity to establish an Australian renewable hydrogen export industry. By using liquid ammonia produced in Australia from renewable energy as a carrier, renewable hydrogen can be distributed to emerging markets in Japan, Korea and Europe using existing infrastructure. The gap in the technology chain is a device which can efficiently and inexpensively convert ammonia into high-purity hydrogen at or near the point of use.

The response

The SIEF Experimental Development Program (EDP) supported CSIRO’s construction and operation of a demonstration plant using its metal membrane technology capable of extracting pure hydrogen from liquid ammonia, for refuelling Australia’s first hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles.

Projected impact

The outcomes of this project will advance the technology for producing high-purity hydrogen from ammonia to be commercialisation-ready and primed to enter domestic and international markets as an alternative energy source, with projected impacts including:

  • Creating Australia’s first hydrogen generator for fuel cell vehicles, thereby increasing our reputation and scientific knowledge in hydrogen-selective membranes and their manufacture and application in industry.
  • Contributing to the development of an Australian renewable hydrogen export industry, providing economic value in terms of job growth, entrepreneurial business opportunities, and increased domestic market and export value.
  • Enhancing Australia’s economic competitiveness through energy security delivered by sustainable, low-emission technology; reducing environmentally harmful reliance on oil and fossil fuels.
Scientists working on fuel cell technologyin a lab next to gas cylinders.

Scientists are developing a membrane for hydrogen separation that can help with its distribution for hydrogen fuel cells in vehicles.

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