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IMCRC collaboration to deliver dispatchable H2 tanks


The Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC), advanced materials start-up Rux Energy and the University of Sydney will collaborate to deliver dispatchable hydrogen gas (H2) tanks that will change the trajectory of Australia’s green energy industry. 

Currently, the inability to store H2 efficiently is preventing it from being widely used as a zero-carbon fuel. To combat this, the Sydney-based research project that commenced in March 2021 has developed new metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) for the high-performance adsorption of H2. 

The new materials will be integrated into field-ready tank prototypes for trials and testing with SME and large industry partners in 2022, with the overall goal to deliver affordable green hydrogen for heavy and long-distance electric vehicles by 2025. 

The IMCRC activate funding enabled Rux Energy to onboard the resources and expertise needed to develop the materials and safe and efficient storage of dispatchable H2, Rux Energy founder and CEO Dr Jehan Kanga said. 

“We’ve been able to use our recent findings as proof points to approach industry about new projects and look to globally relevant areas of expansion, including aviation and marine which, along with trucking, would contribute to abating at least 12 per cent of carbon emissions,” Kanga said. 

“What began as a $100,000 investment has catalysed more than $4 million in investments over the next three years, which speaks to the success of the collaboration.” 

Safe and efficient dispatchable storage of H2 represents one of the central challenges on the road to the Hydrogen Economy, University of Sydney Professor Cameron Kepert said. Initiatives like IMCRC activate play a critical role in supporting local industry and future researchers to develop the capability and know-how to address those challenges. 

“Research at the University of Sydney is driven by the big picture, so we’re excited to be involved in a research collaboration exploring something as time sensitive and globally relevant as the delivery of cost-effective green energy,” Kepert said. 

This collaboration will provide unique career opportunities in the global advanced materials industry, University of Sydney DECRA fellow Dr Lauren Macreadie said. 

“From day one, Rux embedded our students and post doctorate researchers into their team, providing invaluable hands-on experience and setting them up for long-term success,” Macreadie said. 

IMCRC is pleased to be co-funding the development of game-changing affordable green energy within Australia, according to IMCRC CEO David Chuter. 

“Rux Energy and the University of Sydney have had an incredibly fruitful research collaboration over the past 9 months, making significant headway towards the commercialisation of affordable green energy,” Chuter said. 

“The initial findings into efficient H2 storage are a testament to what can be achieved in Australia when we invest in commercially focused R&D though fast moving projects and collaborations. We’re confident that when this IMCRC activate project comes to an end in 2022, the outcomes will significantly accelerate the adoption of green hydrogen renewable energy within Australia and contribute to the reduction in CO2 emissions.”

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