Feasibility study on biomass ash application, hydrogen production and carbon dioxide capture

May 30th, 2022

R&D Focus Areas:
Electrolysis, Electricity

Lead Organisation:
The University of Newcastle

Verdant Earth Pty Ltd (VE)


Start date:
June 2021

Completion date:
December 2021

Key contacts:
Project Leader: Laureate Professor Behdad Moghtaderi: behdad.moghtaderi@newcastle.edu.au

Co-Funded by the Federal Government (through the Innovation Connect Grant Scheme) and Verdant Earth Pty Ltd

Project total cost:
AUD$99,991 (cash)

Project summary description:
This project aimed at facilitating the transformation of the decommissioned Redbank coal-fired powerplant into a new configuration for co-production of renewable electricity and green hydrogen from biomass using commercially available technologies.

Motivated by the negative emissions and CO2 recycling concepts, the new configuration also incorporates unit operations for post-combustion capture of CO2. Verdant Earth and the University of Newcastle have conducted a pre-feasibility investigation (including pilot-scale testing) of the configuration and have arrived at a full-scale concept design featuring:

  • A power block with 136 MW net generating capacity comprising a pair of fluidised bed combustors / boilers consuming 112 t/h of biomass, material handling units, and steam turbines.
  • A 1.5 Mt/year cryogenic CO2 capture block comprising an off-the-shelf product together with storage and transport components for off-site CO2 utilisation and/or storage.
  • A 9,400 t/year power-to-hydrogen block (28 t/day) consisting of 3×40 MW electrolyser modules and storage tanks for oxygen and hydrogen. Hydrogen is exported while oxygen is consumed on-site in the boilers. The electrolyser runs on excess electricity only during daily periods of low electricity demand or excess supply.

Related publications and key links:
Not applicable

Higher degree studies supported:
One postdoctoral research fellow was supported by this project.


May 2022