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Growing Australia's hydrogen industry

22 November 2018

A burgeoning Australian hydrogen industry is one step closer with a new partnership between CSIRO and Fortescue Metals Group.

CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall and Fortescue Founder and Chairman Andrew Forrest AO announced the partnership in Queensland today.

Minster for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the partnership would create more Australian jobs and new industries, as well as opening up export opportunities.

"This partnership centres on an investment in CSIRO’s metal membrane technology, which solves the problem of hydrogen transportation and is another example of the strong ideas coming out of CSIRO," Minister Andrews said.

Due to its low density, hydrogen is difficult to transport. Conversion of hydrogen to ammonia overcomes this problem, but it then must be converted back again.

CSIRO has developed a metal membrane, which when combined with a suitable catalyst for ammonia decomposition, can extract pure hydrogen from ammonia, paving the way for a hydrogen industry.

The partnership complements CSIRO’s continued investment in hydrogen research and development, chiefly through its Hydrogen Energy Systems Future Science Platform.

"CSIRO Future Science Platforms help create new industries of the future and give young scientific talent the opportunities to train in these industries," Minister Andrews said.

"Fortescue’s investment in CSIRO’s metal membrane technology exemplifies how our industry and scientific leaders are working together for the future benefit of Australia."

The Coalition Government is committed to boosting Australia’s economy and creating more local jobs through increased investment in our science and technology sectors, and by opening up more export markets for our businesses. The Coalition is investing an additional $2.4 billion to grow our research, science and technology capabilities, as announced in the Budget.

Media contact: Minister Andrews' office 02 6277 7070