ARENA to fund biogas to hydrogen plant

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has approved up to $9.41 million in funding for the construction and operation of a hydrogen production facility in Western Australia.

An ARENA media statement said renewable energy company Hazer are seeking to build a $15.8 million 100 tonne per annum facility.

The facility will use hydrogen production technology to convert biogas from sewage treatment into hydrogen and graphite.

“The Hazer Process is an innovative technology that converts bio-methane to renewable hydrogen and graphite using an iron ore catalyst, creating an alternate hydrogen pathway to the traditional approaches of steam methane reforming and electrolysis,” the statement reads.

“Hazer will sell the renewable hydrogen for industrial applications and is exploring markets for graphite including carbon black, activated carbon and battery anode applications.”

According to the statement, Hazer aims to take advantage of waste or low value biogas streams such as from wastewater treatment plants, landfill sites and other industrial locations to produce higher value hydrogen and graphite.

“Hazer has identified the proposed location for the project at the Woodman Point Wastewater Treatment Plant, owned by the Western Australian Water Corporation,” the statement reads.

“Hazer has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Western Australian Water Corporation for the supply of biogas, and to provide the project site for construction.”

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said Hazer’s project represents a new and innovative way to produce renewable hydrogen, which aligns with ARENA’s new investment priority focussed on accelerating hydrogen.

“Renewable hydrogen is typically produced by splitting water molecules using renewable electricity, however, Hazer’s process represents an alternative way to produce hydrogen using biogas sourced from wastewater treatment plants,” Mr Miller said.

“If successful, this project will offer opportunities to replicate the technology across other treatment plants and landfill sites across Australia.”

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EPA VIC consider application for $12M waste to energy facility

Resource Resolution Pty Ltd has applied to establish a $12 million commercial food waste processing facility which has the capability of producing biogas for energy.

The proposed facility would process 30,000 tonnes of liquid food waste a year and produce 2.4 megawatts of power.

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Resource Resolution also aims to recover organic matter for use as animal feed or to generate renewable energy with an anaerobic digestion facility.

Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria received the works approval for the site, planned to be located at 19 Winter Road, Girgarre.

Resource Resolution has proposed to use the Biogass Renewables AD system, which is currently used in Perth, WA. It is estimated that the bioenergy operation will process 23,382 tonnes of dairy, 3,475 tonnes of food products, 2,421 tonnes of fruit and vegetables and 722 tonnes of supermarket and grocery waste.

EPA Victoria’s assessment of the application will consider best practice technology, energy efficiency, greenhouse gas emissions and waste composition. It will also assess any potential risk to human health and the environment, including from emissions to air, noise, disposal of digestate, the waste water treatment system and operation contingencies.

An application for an amendment to the current planning permit is currently under assessment by Campaspe Shire Council.

Works approvals are required for industrial and waste management activities that have the potential for significant environmental impact.

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