The photo is sourced from — renewablesnow.com
The hydrogen energy supply chain will consist of several chain links. The first stage will be mining brown coal at Loy Yang mine in Victoria state in the South-East of Australia. The produced feedstock will be degraded, de-hydrated and gasified: the reaction between coal and oxygen under high pressure will provide for synthesis gas generation consisting of carbon mono-oxide (CO) and hydrogen (H2). Further exposure to the water steam will cause hydrogen release and transformation of CO to CO2. The gaseous hydrogen will be transported in tank trucks under high pressure to the port of Hastings, where it will be liquified under minus 253 degrees Celsius and then transported to the port of Kobe on the Honshu Island. The pilot transportation took place in January 2022 by Suiso Frontier tanker with 75 kt carrying capacity.
Several Australian and Japanese companies participate in HESC project including Kawasaki Heavy Industries industrial concern, Electric Power Development Co. (J-POWER) electricity generating company and AGL Energy operating the distribution grid. After achieving the full production capacity, the project will be capable of generating 225 kt of hydrogen per annum, thus saving about 1.8 mt of carbon dioxide gas per annum, an equivalent of annual emissions of 350 thou cars with gasoline engines.
Coal gasification remains one of the most common methods to generate hydrogen: according to International Energy Agency (IEA), in 2021 it accounted for 19% of total global H2 generation, while as methane reforming (without CO2 capture, utilization and storage technology) – for 62%, and all other sources – for 19%.