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Weizhi (Lidya) Zhang

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PhD Candidate | UNSW Sydney

I began my PhD candidate having completed my Bachelor of Chemical Engineering and Master of Chemical Processing Engineering at UNSW. My past research experience focused on water resources, such as wastewater treatment, and seawater desalination. Given the importance of water in hydrogen production, my research is focused on life cycle assessment for green hydrogen production and water, looking to find the available water resources in the rural area.

Water is an essential source of green hydrogen, and most of the water currently used in green hydrogen comes from desalination plants. However, producing hydrogen from seawater cannot meet hydrogen export targets that cost less than $2. Looking for suitable water resources is urgent for the development of green hydrogen. According to the literature, surface water and groundwater are some of the most suitable water resources, and agriculture is the largest user of freshwater water in Australia. Therefore, when seeking to utilize freshwater for hydrogen production, it becomes unavoidable to engage with agriculture. My current project is using life cycle assessment as a tool to identify the environmental impacts of allocating water resources to green hydrogen and crops in the same rural areas, establishing a water resource allocation model w taking into account the industrial structure to maximize the economic impact and minimize the environmental impact. Through the work, the findings of this research will constitute a substantial contribution to the continuous endeavors aimed at fostering a worldwide hydrogen economy.

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