The process and technology
Hydrogen gas will be produced at a newly constructed plant located at the AGL Loy Yang Complex in the Latrobe Valley.
Brown coal gasification
Hydrogen can be produced from brown coal by gasification. Coal gasification is a well-developed technology and core to current Integrated coal Gasifier Combined Cycle (IGCC) developments used for power generation in Japan, US, EU and China.
Coal gasification works by reacting coal with oxygen under high pressures and temperatures to form synthesis gas (syngas), a mixture consisting primarily of carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen (H2).
The pilot gasification plant will use a total of up to 160 tonnes of brown coal and will include a drying and milling system developed specifically for Victorian brown coal. It will deliver up to three tonnes of hydrogen gas.
The pilot supply chain will aim to demonstrate the production of hydrogen from syngas.
During gas refining, the syngas is purified and the carbon monoxide in the gas mixture is reacted with steam to produce additional hydrogen and carbon dioxide. The carbon monoxide is converted to carbon dioxide with steam, then the hydrogen is separated.
The hydrogen produced will be refined to achieve a high purity specification for transportation.
Hydrogen gas will be transported to the liquefaction plant at the Port of Hastings by road in high pressure tube trailers.
This method of transporting hydrogen gas is common practice in Australia.
The Latrobe pilot plant is expected to:
- Have an overall footprint of approximately half a hectare (5,000 square metres)
- Process up to 160 tonnes of brown coal
- Produce up to three tonnes of gaseous hydrogen over the year of operations
- Involve one truck delivery of produced gaseous hydrogen to the Port of Hastings per month.