Demonstration-scale Prototype System
The Training Centre has developed several demonstration-scale prototype systems which will provide a platform for researchers, students, and industry to understand the process of synthesising sustainable chemicals and fuels including hydrogen and its derivatives using renewable energy. The demonstration prototypes will also serve as tools to demonstrate innovative solutions for the current clean energy transition.
SHINE 2.0 (Solar Harvesting for Integrated New Energy)
SHINE 2.0 is a demonstration-scale integrated photo-thermal reactor system that harnesses solar energy to convert CO2 to methane through thermal catalysis with no external grid energy input. The methane produced can be integrated with the existing natural gas network. The system has been tested using a range of cheap, transition metal-based catalysts to achieve 100% selectivity towards methane. The design of this prototype allows direct and indirect heating of the methanation reactor. Concentrated sunlight can be used directly to heat the reactor and maintain reaction temperature through active solar tracking. Alternatively, solar energy can be converted to electricity and stored in a mobile battery/solar controller unit for the primary's hydrogen generation and indirect heating reactor, allowing for night time operation.
Photocatalytic reforming of waste to hydrogen
Photoreforming is a process that captures natural sunlight to convert biomass waste into green hydrogen (H2) gas and value-added chemicals. Upon solar irradiation, photocatalyst will be activated to simultaneously reduce H+ into H2 and oxidises biomass organic compounds. The addition of biomass waste into the system will not only accelerate the H2 generation efficiency, but also assist in tackling the waste management issues.
The photoreforming prototype can generate green H2 from biomass waste and the Sun. The constructed slurry photoreforming prototype utilises only sunlight as the dominant energy input and do not require additional electricity supply. The photocatalytic process is directly activated by sunlight and PV panel is used to supply electricity to pump the photocatalyst suspension. The photocatalyst suspension is efficiently circulated through the flowing tubes enclosed by solar concentrator, which allows for improved mass transfer and light penetration efficiencies.
Virtual Reality Processing Plant
The Virtual Reality Processing Plant (ViRPP) video was produced in collaboration with UNSW School of Chemical Engineering and led by Dr Sarah Grundy as part of the Work Integrated Learning activity to improve student learning by integrating authentic learning practices for engineering courses to provide students with industry exposure.
The virtual site visit featured here was the Jemena Western Sydney Green Gas Project, a Power-to-Gas facility located in Western Sydney, a $15 million project and renewable gas trial, co-funded by Jemena and ARENA. This virtual tour has been specifically prepared for chemical engineering students at UNSW. See inside Jemena’s Western Sydney Green Gas Project - a hydrogen generation pilot facility to observe the processes and equipment required for scalable, renewable hydrogen production. Then tour current hydrogen research at UNSW and hear from research students about their projects driving innovation in the hydrogen economy.