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CSIRO gets in on the hydrogen act with pioneering refuelling station

Australia’s leading science agency the CSIRO has teamed up with Swinburne University of Technology for one of the first hydrogen refuelling stations in Victoria.

The $2.5 million refuelling  station at the Victorian Hydrogen Hub is located at the CSIRO’s Clayton site and promises to allows hydrogen cars to travel over 600km emissions-free on a full tank.

The station will use green hydrogen produced with electricity from renewable sources and the CSIRO  is oping it will showcase thr practical application of hydrogen as an alternative fuel.

It will also be used to test emerging hydrogen technology and train the next generation on the use of hydrogen stations to ensure Australia remains internationally competitive.

A major agreement last month aims to make the fuel viable by creating links along major highways, but currently the refuelling points are few and far between. Victoria has an operating fuelling station at the Toyota plant in Altona.

CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Doug Hilton said the Clayton centre would help research on the fuel and help keep Australia competitive as hydrogen played an emerging role in Australia’s energy transition and the decarbonisation of our road transport sector.

“The technology is an exciting piece in the puzzle in Australia’s renewable energy future and will deliver long-term community and environmental benefits, boost the economy and create new jobs and opportunities for Australia and Australians,” Dr Hilton said.

“This is innovative, inventive, inspired technology that builds the sovereign capabilities Australia needs to transition to net zero.”

Swinburne University of Technology Professor Karen Hapgood, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, says the station, co-funded by VH2 and the Victorian Government’s Higher Education State Investment Fund was a unique opportunity.

“The launch of the hydrogen station brings Australia another step closer to creating a carbon neutral world by 2050 or earlier,” Hapgood said.

“As a university with sustainability in our DNA, we are proud to be playing an important role in driving the implementation of the hydrogen economy in Australia, through our Victorian Hydrogen Hub and collaboration with CSIRO.

“Hydrogen plays a key part in our transition to clean energy, and demonstration projects such as these help to test technical, regulatory and economic aspects of hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, and support the urgent training and workforce development for this expanding hydrogen energy ecosystem.”

The refuelling station can generate up to 20kg of green hydrogen a day via electrolysis, and has a storage capacity of 80kg, enough for more than 10 cars.

The station is a significant component of CSIRO’s Hydrogen Industry Mission, which aims to support national and global decarbonisation through leading research and the development of a commercially viable Australian hydrogen industry, comprising both domestic and export chains.

“Hydrogen is increasingly being recognised as ‘the fuel of the future’ – and for good reason,” Hilton says.

“Hydrogen is the most abundant chemical element in the universe and, when used to power fuel cell electric vehicles the only exhaust product is water vapour.”

Victorian Hydrogen Hub Director, Gordon Chakaodza said the collaboration with CSIRO was a key pillar in the hub’s mission to further Australia’s hydrogen economy.

“We are using state-of-the-art facilities to demonstrate to industry and the community the capabilities of fuel cell electric vehicles. This will cement Victoria as a key player in accelerating the deployment of hydrogen cars in Australia,” Mr Chakaodza says.

Currently there are two makes of hydrogen car available in Australia: the Toyota Mirai and the Hyundai Nexo and 12 hydrogen refuelling stations either operating or under construction in Australia.

The announcement follows a partnership between four major players to expand the hydrogen network last month .

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