CSIRO, RFC Ambrian form Hadean Energy to commercialize tubular solid oxide electrolysis (tSOE) technology
Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, and corporate advisor RFC Ambrian have co-founded Hadean Energy, a new company to commercialize CSIRO’s tubular solid oxide electrolysis (tSOE) technology. Solid oxide electrolysis (SOE) (earlier post) uses a ceramic cell to split heated steam molecules into hydrogen and oxygen.
SOE operates at temperatures above 800°C, using the excess heat from industrial processes to make the cell conductive. This heat reduces the electricity needed in the reaction by 30% (<42 kWh/kg of hydrogen) in comparison to PEM and alkaline electrolysis compared to existing alkaline and polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolyzer technologies (~60 kWh/kg of hydrogen), CSIRO says.
200 micron SOE ceramic tubes. Source: CSIRO.
The tubular solid oxide cell structure reduces cost and complexity while enhancing repairability. It simplifies the manufacturing process, supporting rapid, scalable production. The tubular structure also reduces sealing requirements, improving safety and stack longevity.
CSIRO will trial the technology at BlueScope’s Port Kembla Steelworks to demonstrate the equipment at pilot scale in an industrial environment.
Dr Sarb Giddey, lead scientist on hydrogen research at CSIRO, said the development of tubular SOE technology at CSIRO is a key project aimed at producing more affordable and efficient hydrogen to help industry reduce emissions.
Hadean Energy will have exclusive rights over CSIRO’s SOE technology.
The trial with BlueScope will commence in April 2024. Integration aspects and other findings from the trial will help to demonstrate the technology at a higher scale and confirm the technical robustness of the equipment.
RFC Ambrian manages a decarbonization technology fund targeting early-stage investments in emerging technologies with the potential to decarbonize high emissions industries. Stefan Skorut, RFC Ambrian’s CIO, said the CSIRO SOE technology is well placed to address the existing industrial hydrogen market which is currently almost 100% derived from fossil fuels.