Tubular Solid Oxide Electrolysis

Hadean Energy research case study

Heavy industries such as steel making are examining ways to decrease their carbon emissions in line with various greenhouse gas reduction targets. Green hydrogen generated from the electrolysis of water using electricity from renewable sources can play an important role in reducing carbon emissions of heavy industries. However, the cost of green hydrogen is a key barrier for speedy and widespread adoption of such technologies. 

Ceramic tubes for solid oxide electrolysis

The tubular solid oxide technology under development at Hadean Energy is of special relevance to heavy industry. Heavy industries often generate waste heat or low-cost heat as part of their industrial processes. Using this heat to convert water to steam for use in a solid oxide electrolyser can result in up to 30 per cent less electricity demand in comparison to the most common types of electrolyser systems presently in use.

The technology can also minimise the hydrogen storage and transportation requirements in heavy industry where hydrogen can be directly utilised in product manufacture.

Hadean Energy’s solid oxide electrolyser technology is based on bundles of sintered ceramic tubes and easily obtainable metals. The lower materials cost and high operating efficiencies (<40 kWh electricity required per kg of hydrogen produced) of the technology have the potential to markedly reduce the cost of hydrogen for low emissions steel making and other heavy industry sectors.  The technology is modular and scalable to kilowatt and megawatt units to meet customer needs.

CSIRO Project Leader measuring the dimensional thermal expansion of ceramic cells.

This technology development was initiated at CSIRO, with a focus on developing the catalyst materials for steam/carbon dioxide electrolysis. The technology has attracted the interest of industry and investors and recently resulted in the co-founding of Hadean Energy by CSIRO and corporate advisor RFC Ambrian.

The technology has been tested at laboratory scale. The next step in its development is to conduct a kilowatt class trial with BlueScope at their Port Kembla steelworks, planned for the second half of 2024. 

Case study date: January 2024

HyResource record: Tubular Solid Oxide Electrolysis – HyResearch (csiro.au)