Wastewater treatment plants ‘could boost hydrogen production’

Australia’s nascent hydrogen industry could be supported by co-locating hydrogen production at wastewater treatment plants, says Yarra Valley Water.

A new paper co-produced by the corporation and Jacobs consulting engineers uses the Aurora wastewater treatment plant as a case study to explore the relationship between both outputs from electrolysis – hydrogen and pure oxygen.

It also examines whether using oxygen in wastewater treatment processes could create enough savings for the wastewater treatment plant to effectively subsidise the cost of hydrogen and increase its commercial viability.

The case study findings showed that implementing a type of treatment technology that allows for the efficient use of pure oxygen at the Aurora wastewater treatment plant could deliver net capital and operating cost savings to Yarra Valley Water compared to other types of treatment options tested.

At the same time, the guaranteed demand for oxygen at Aurora was instrumental in enabling the co-located hydrogen facility to be commercially viable while selling hydrogen within a competitive price range of $2-6/kg.

Yarra Valley Water managing director Pat McCafferty says the paper indicates the water sector could play a bigger role in developing an effective and commercially viable hydrogen industry in Australia.

Click here to access the full paper.