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Kaur’s team to transform energy sector

Dr. Gurpreet Kaur and her team are driving innovation in Australia's hydrogen production technology, aiming to reduce energy consumption and promote sustainability.

Dr. Gurpreet Kaur; Image - CSIRO website

Indian- origin Australian post-doctoral researcher, Dr Gurpreet Kaur, and her team have made significant strides in driving innovation in Australia's hydrogen production technology. Their study aims to reduce the substantial amount of energy required in hydrogen production and pave the way for a more sustainable energy future.

Dr Kaur's team recognized the challenge of high electricity demand in green hydrogen production. To overcome this, they focused on solid oxide electrolysis (SOE) technology, which has the potential to decrease electricity requirements and manufacturing costs. Partnering with Australian industry leaders and investors, they aim to commercialize this groundbreaking technology.

“We developed and evaluated materials for this technology, looking for efficient ways to generate hydrogen and syngas,” Kaur said in a statement.

The developed technology can reduce hydrogen production electricity by almost one-third by utilizing low-cost or waste thermal heat from industrial processes. This advancement has significant economic and environmental benefits, making industries worldwide more environmentally friendly.

Dr. Kaur and her team; Image - CSIRO

Andrew Jones, the project’s commercialization lead, highlighted the technology’s higher efficiency, lower electrical input, and attractiveness due to the use of low-cost materials and a simple manufacturing process. “Hydrogen and syngas (H2/CO) are the feedstock for the production of many value-added chemicals and fuels. So, this technology has a wide range of applications across industries. This includes steel, ammonia, petrochemical, methanol and heavy transport,” he said.

The project has gained support from various industry stakeholders. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency provided US $2.5 million in funding, and the Science and Industry Endowment Fund (SIEF) contributed US 1.7 million. International partners, including RayGen, Johnson Matthey, Ben-Gurion University, Northwestern University, and ADME Fuels, are involved. The total project cost is US$3.2 million, with contributions from industry partners. This funding will be used to demonstrate, start-up, and expand the experimental program.