A revolutionary new clean technology is set to hit the global market, thanks to a partnership between University of Sydney engineers and clean technology pioneer Hazer Group.
The University's School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering has teamed up with the Perth-based Hazer Group to commercialise the 'Hazer Process' for the global market.
The innovative process uses cheap, readily-available natural ingredients to produce high-purity synthetic graphite and hydrogen for the clean energy and other industries, at significantly lower cost and with significantly lower carbon dioxide emissions than any existing technology. Using natural gas as a feedstock and unprocessed iron ore as a catalyst, it has the potential to become the world's cleanest and cheapest means of supplying global markets with high-quality graphite, hydrogen and clean energy.
The commercialisation of the Hazer Process will give Australia's clean energy industry a clear competitive advantage and offer valuable alternatives to the export of raw primary commodities. On a global scale it has the potential to lower the costs and increase the availability of clean energy supply worldwide.
Hazer Group Managing Director Geoff Pocock says the partnership will combine the two organisations' expertise and resources to fully realise the technological and commercial potential of the novel technology.
"We believe that the Hazer Process has the potential to be the most successful commercialisation of pure university research in Australia", Mr Pocock said, "and this commercialisation has been greatly assisted by the relationship we have built with the University of Sydney".
The opportunity to partner with Hazer Group was a perfect fit for the University of Sydney's engineers, whose research focuses on solving today's challenges and anticipating those of the future.
Professor Dianne Wiley, Head of School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Sydney said, "With global warming an ongoing challenge and worldwide demand for affordable clean energy on the rise, our partnership with Hazer Group will ensure that this pioneering technological innovation benefits the greatest possible number of people worldwide".
Graphite and hydrogen are both critical ingredients in the clean energy industry, as well as in a range of other important industries.
Graphite is an essential component of batteries, among other things, including the lithium-ion batteries that power computers, mobile devices and electric vehicles. In 2013 the value of the global graphite market exceeded US$13.6 billion, with the expanding energy market rapidly driving up demand. The graphite produced by the Hazer Process is high-quality, highly crystalline synthetic graphite of high purity, which can be produced in a range of morphologies to suit specific markets and applications.
The cheap, clean hydrogen produced by the Hazer Process can also be used in a wide range of existing and emerging applications, both within the clean energy market and in large-scale industrial processing. The global hydrogen market is currently valued at more than US$100 billion and, by lowering the costs and environmental impacts of production, the Hazer Process could see it grow.
"We're excited about the potential for this partnership to revolutionise the global market for clean energy and other clean technologies", said Professor Wiley.
The School of Civil Engineering welcomes Professor Brian Uy as the new Head School, having held leadership positions at the University of NSW, the University of Western Sydney and the University of Wollongong.