Converting biomass into value-added catalysts for water electrolysis

Project summary

Water electrolysis, the process of using electricity to produce hydrogen from water, provides a clean and sustainable way of producing hydrogen with zero emissions. However, the wider adoption of this technology is currently impeded by the high cost of the precious metal catalysts that speed up the rate of hydrogen production, and the relatively low water to hydrogen conversion efficiency. Australia generates several million tonnes of agricultural waste annually, where it is either left in the field, disposed of directly into landfill or combusted to produce power or heat. In landfill, this waste decomposes into methane gas, a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, it is essential to develop new alternative approaches for recycling and adding value to agricultural waste in Australia. This project aims to employ agricultural waste to manufacture new highly active and stable non-precious metal catalysts for accelerating hydrogen production from water electrolysis. The project expects to generate new knowledge in the development of low-cost and sustainable catalysts for renewable hydrogen production and new technology for converting agricultural waste into value-added catalysts. The project outcomes are expected to benefit Australia by creating new commercial opportunities in ‘waste-to-catalyst’ conversion and generating a new pathway for managing and recycling agricultural waste, thus providing both environmental and economic benefits while contributing to a sustainable economy.

Project members

Dr Yusuf Valentino Kaneti

Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellow
Yamauchi Group

Dr Nasim Amiralian

Group Leader and Advance Queensland Research Fellow
Amiralian Group

Professor Yusuke Yamauchi

Senior Group Leader
Yamauchi Group