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Michaël Lejeune

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PhD Candidate | UNSW Sydney

I am a PhD candidate at UNSW, having completed my Master of Science in Sustainable Energy Systems Management at Hanze University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. My master's thesis focused on the technoeconomics of synthetic methane production from renewable energy and atmospheric carbon dioxide. With expertise in energy system design, analysis, and optimization, as well as economic and environmental assessment, I am passionate about advocating for sustainable energy systems and advancing the global energy transition toward a sustainable future.  

Given the importance of hydrogen in the energy transition, my research focuses on assessing the environmental impacts of large-scale green hydrogen production with respect to planetary boundaries. Through this work, I am aiming to contribute to the development of sustainable energy systems and help pave the way for a more sustainable future.  

Project title: Prospective life cycle assessment of large-scale green hydrogen production with respect to planetary boundaries. 

Project description: 

 The challenges posed by anthropogenic pressure on the Earth system require urgent action towards decarbonising our economy. Green hydrogen, produced through water electrolysis using renewable energy, has emerged as a promising solution for reducing emissions in hard-to-abate sectors and industries. However, the sustainability of large-scale green hydrogen production remains a critical concern. This research aims to evaluate the absolute environmental sustainability of green hydrogen production at scale by developing a planetary boundaries-based prospective life cycle assessment framework that focuses on the electrolysis plant life cycle. By considering leading electrolysis technologies and identifying environmental hotspots, this framework will enable the identification of environmentally viable production locations and scales. In addition to providing insights into the sustainability of large-scale green hydrogen production, this project will pave the way for the absolute environmental assessment of green hydrogen derivatives. Ultimately, the findings of this study will represent a significant contribution to the ongoing efforts towards a global hydrogen economy. 

Supervisor: Prof. Sami Kara and Dr Rahman Daiyan

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