Australia could be the next energy superpower

A recent breakthrough in Queensland has led researchers to suggest that this could be one of the key breakthroughs in the development of renewable energy.

Two vehicles powered by hydrogen –derived ammonia fuel will be tested in Brisbane.

The CSIRO program was first launched near the end of 2017 in a bid to encourage development in the production of renewable energy and hopefully oversee its transition into becoming a new Australian export. The program has been backed by both state and federal governments, launching the $496m project.

The most recent breakthrough has been the creation of a membrane technology that separates purified hydrogen from ammonia. At the same time, it blocks other gases, meaning it can be used as a clean petrol source for vehicles. The new innovation will allow for the safe transportation of hydrogen, hopefully ensuring it becomes a mass-produced energy source.

This is the first time in history that a hydrogen-based car has been fueled by an ammonia-derivative. Essentially, it is carbon-free fuel. This advancement could be recognised as a solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and our over-use of fossil fuels and non-renewable energies.

One of the key advantages of operating a hydrogen-car is not only the zero emissions, but its extended travel range and fill-up time. In fact, the petrol tank of a hydrogen car can be filled within three minutes and possesses a travel range of up to 800 kilometres.

With Australia’s car manufacturing industry struggling, the emergence of these new technologies could be a game-changer in revitalising Australia’s car manufacturing industry. In 2016, Ford Australia ceased operations, citing high manufacturing costs and lackluster sales, while Toyota Australia followed suit in 2017, suggesting similar reasons.

Following the successful demonstration, CSIRO are now looking into increasing the scale of hydrogen production, suggesting it could very well be a watershed moment for renewable energy development and the Australian car industry.

Christian Woods
Christian Woods
Christian is a morning reporter and technology columnist for Best in Australia. Christian has worked in the media since 2000, in a range of locations. He joined Best in Australia in 2018, and began working in Melbourne in 2019.
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