First Qld green hydrogen export reaches Japan

green hydrogen
Image: CSIRO, Hydrogen Demo, CSIRO/John Nguyen Photography

Queensland has celebrated the state’s first ever delivery of green hydrogen to Japan, marking a significant step forward for the state’s hydrogen industry.

Exported by JXTG, Japan’s largest petroleum conglomerate, the hydrogen was produced at QUT’s solar cell facility, located at the Queensland Government’s Redlands Research Facility.

“This demonstration of renewable hydrogen being successfully exported overseas is an exciting first step in producing and exporting hydrogen at a commercial scale in the future,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told Parliament today.

“I applaud the project partners on making this a reality.”

The Premier also announced $250,000 in funding for the establishment of a renewable hydrogen pilot plant at the Redlands Research Facility.

“This will ensure the knowledge within the hydrogen industry in Queensland continues to grow at pace with the international market,” she said.

Related article: New hydrogen partnership announced

Today’s announcement marks another major milestone in Queensland’s progress towards a commercially viable hydrogen industry.

  • May 2018 – the Premier saw first-hand the industry’s potential during a trade mission to Tokyo and announced $750,000 to support the investigation of producing and supplying hydrogen at a competitive price to alternative energy sources.
  • September 2018 – the Premier released a hydrogen discussion paper on how to advance this new and emerging industry, which has received strong interest from industry, universities and the community.
  • November 2018 – the Premier visited Hyundai headquarters during a trade mission to Korea. The car manufacturer is embracing hydrogen as emissions-free fuel and is ready to start delivering hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for the Australian market later this year.
  • December – March 2019 – First delivery of green hydrogen to Japan
  • January 2019 – Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has committed a $1 billion towards a National Hydrogen Plan including setting up a National Hydrogen Innovation Hub in Gladstone, which is already well advanced in hydrogen research.
  • 28 March 2019 – Hydrogen showcase event held Parliament
  • 2019 – Queensland Government’s Hydrogen Strategy to be released later this year

Professor Ian Mackinnon, from QUT’s Institute for Future Environments, said the green hydrogen exported to Japan was produced by adding water and acid to a chemical called toluene using solar power as the energy source in the electrochemical conversion process.

“The toluene is converted to a substance called methyl cyclohexane (MCH), which is an energy efficient and safe method for transporting hydrogen,” Mr Mackinnon said.

“In this form, hydrogen can be shipped using conventional road and pipeline infrastructure. “Once it has arrived at its destination, the renewable hydrogen is extracted from the MCH and the toluene can be re-used in the transportation cycle.”

Related article: Queensland backs hydrogen research for renewable fuel source