De-risking, testing and training

The KETH will be a world-first, large-scale demonstration facility that will develop innovative solutions to transform energy sectors, economies and deliver a lower-carbon future. The FEnEx CRC has committed $30 million to research and development at KETH. Through broad-reaching research the KETH will:

Unlock the promise of hydrogen

  • Hydrogen offers a versatile, low and potentially zero-carbon solution to sectors that are technically difficult to decarbonise. But cost effectively and safely producing it at scale is the challenge.
  • Once operational, the KETH will play a world-leading role demonstrating the viability of hydrogen and how it can be strategically integrated it into our energy system.
  • KETH will explore production options including blue hydrogen (based on natural gas), liquification options (to improve transport viability), ammonia potential and the operations and efficiencies of hydrogen cells.
  • Reduction of combustion CO2 from gas turbines, industrial furnaces by using hydrogen blending will be examined.

Work towards Net-Zero production processes

  • Optimise decision-making, efficiency and remote operations through digitisation.
  • Provide a safe and secure environment to uplift base technologies and infrastructure design and accelerate deployment across our value chain.
  • Test electrification options and alternatives including renewable energy to power industrial production processes.
  • Improve detection and reduction of methane fugitive emissions.

Innovate and test new technologies to unlock value

  • Research and test new and emerging technologies to deliver improvements (safety, decision-making, and productivity), unlock value and optimise resources.
  • Leverage the expertise of trusted scientists, engineers and partners in collaborations that deliver the innovations needed for low-carbon, low-cost energy systems.

Provide Australian-first equipment qualification

  • Local Supply Chain optimisation by providing a facility for local manufacturers to test and certify equipment prior to deployment in the field.

Explore CO2 utilisation

  • Methanation with green hydrogen offers a pathway for decarbonisation by converting carbon dioxide that would otherwise be vented to atmosphere into valuable energy products such as methanol.

Early identified research projects

A full range of research projects is currently in development and will broaden with further input from industry. Early identified projects include:

1. Demonstration of novel separation processes for helium recovery from natural gas

Geoscience Australia has recognised helium as a critical mineral and Australia’s natural reserves of helium amount to 21 years of global consumption; however, if recovery is prohibitively expensive the helium is vented during natural gas production. Estimated value-add to Australia: $15.5 million per year for one large-scale LNG train.

2. Demonstration of the Sabatier reaction to produce methane using renewable hydrogen and CO2

Natural gas can contain up to 40% carbon dioxide by weight, which is typically separated and vented. Estimated value-add to Australia: $230 million per year for one large-scale LNG train and associated reduction of 1 million tonnes of CO2 – equivalent.

3. Demonstration of advanced sensors and refrigeration cycles for improved hydrogen liquefaction

Novel sensors will be developed to monitor and improve control of spin-state transitions during hydrogen liquefaction, improving process efficiency and reducing boil-off. Estimated value-add to Australia by 2030: $950 million per year per 1 million tonne p.a. LH2 train.

Rapidly replicate and scale

Unless proprietary, the KETH will quickly share learnings across partners to improve outcomes and de-risk global deployment of innovations and new technologies.