Hydrogen generation by subsurface iron mineral transformations

August 4th, 2023

R&D Focus Areas:
Natural hydrogen

Lead Organisation:
University of New South Wales (UNSW)

Geoscience Australia, Geological Survey of New South Wales, Geological Survey of Western Australia, South Australian Department for Energy and Mining, Mineral Resources Tasmania


Start date:
September 2023

Completion date:
September 2026

Key contacts:
Professor David Waite, UNSW, d.waite@unsw.edu.au
Professor Ryan Armstrong, UNSW
Dr Andrew Feitz, Geoscience Australia
Dr Peter Haines, Geological Survey of WA
Ms Elinor Alexander, South Australia Department of Energy & Mining
Dr Kevin Ruming, Geological Survey of New South Wales
Mr Ralph Bottrill, Mineral Resources Tasmania

Australian Research Council (Linkage Scheme) – AUD$612,689

Project total cost:
Australian Research Council: AUD$612,689 (cash)
Partner Organisations: AUD$360,000 (cash); AUD$470,000 (in kind)

Project summary description:
Large quantities of hydrogen are generated in subsurface environments in various parts of Australia but there are significant knowledge gaps regarding the way this “natural” hydrogen is formed and whether retrieval of this potentially valuable resource is both possible and sustainable.

Using a mix of innovative mineral characterisation methods, specially designed reaction vessels and advanced modelling capabilities, the Lead Organisation will work with State Government geoscience agency partners to determine the key factors responsible for hydrogen generation and use this information to identify the locations where significant amounts of hydrogen are expected to occur.

The project will develop predictive tools that will assist State and Federal governments in assessing the viability of retrieving this valuable resource. Outcomes of this project will also assist companies to better target locations where recovery of this potential source of hydrogen may be viable.

Related publications and key links:
None as yet

Higher degree studies supported:
Two UNSW doctoral students will contribute to this project with one supported by a Geoscience Australia scholarship and the other supported by Australian Research Council Linkage project funds.


August 2023