THP-E42: Texas Researchers Turn Untapped Oil Into Clean Hydrogen Energy. Also, Canada Launches The Hydrogen Alliance And Australia And Japan Join Forces On A Innovative Hydrogen Study

August 30, 2021 • Paul Rodden • Season: 2021 • Episode: 42

Welcome to The Hydrogen Podcast!

In episode 042, Canada launches its hydrogen Alliance, Australia and Japan joined forces on a new hydrogen study. UT researchers transform untapped oil into clean hydrogen. All of this on today’s hydrogen podcast.

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Canada launches its hydrogen Alliance, Australia and Japan joined forces on a new hydrogen study. UT researchers transform untapped oil into clean hydrogen. All of this on today’s hydrogen podcast.

So the big questions in the energy industry today are, how is hydrogen the primary driving force behind the evolution of energy? Where is capital being deployed for hydrogen projects globally? And where are the best investment opportunities for early adopters who recognize the importance of hydrogen? I will address the critical issues and give you the information you need to deploy capital. Those are the questions that will unlock the potential of hydrogen and this podcast will give you the answers. My name is Paul Rodden, and welcome to the hydrogen podcast.

Canada’s Hydrogen Alliance gets launched this in an article from h2view, Canada’s decarbonisation objectives and plans to develop a hydrogen economy are set to be supported by a new alliance, which aims to support federal and provincial hydrogen policies to promote a clean and green fuel. Led by Hybrixcel and seated by GERB Scientific, Canada Hydrogen Alliance will do just that, through the promotion of supply chain innovation, manufacturing and the commercialization of hydrogen focused technology and hydrogen powered projects. On top of that, the alliance will also look to identify specific actions that candidate can undertake to scale the full supply chain for clean hydrogen production, transport, storage, and use as well as the technology development and infrastructure needs across multiple sectors.

Commenting on the launch, Sara Shahmohammadi co-Alliance lead and managing director of GERB Consulting said the CH2A coalition will promote the development deployment and commercialization of new hydrogen focus technologies and hydrogen powered projects to add to our country’s reputation as a producer and exporter of clean hydrogen to Europe in other regions, already one of the top 10 hydrogen producers in the world today, Canada’s role in the global hydrogen economy is a large one. And the country’s already launched strategic aims to better such existing role as well as modernize Canada’s energy systems by leveraging Canadian expertise, CH2A will now play a big part in this. Together, with leading stakeholders and industry supporters, the Alliance presents a diverse group of energy companies, project developers, utilities, NGOs, equipment, suppliers, and research institutions who are committed to achieving net zero.

Next, Rio Tinto and Sumitomo to assess hydrogen pilot plant at Gladstone’s Yarwun alumina refinery. This in a press release from Rio Tinto. Rio Tinto and Sumitomo Corporation announced on August 24, A partnership to study the construction of a hydrogen pilot plant at Rio Tinto’s Yarwun alumina refinery in Gladstone and explore the potential use of hydrogen at the refinery. The two global companies have signed a letter of intent that focuses on Yarwun as location for a Gladstone hydrogen plant that Sumitomo has been studying. If the project proceeds the pilot plant would produce hydrogen for a recently announced Gladstone hydrogen ecosystem. The study supports the efforts of Australian Queensland and local governments to establish Gladstone as a clean hydrogen hub of the future. Rio Tinto, Australia chief executive Kellie Parker said, Rio Tinto has a long relationship with Sumitomo and we are delighted to partner with them to explore the possibilities of hydrogen, not only for our own refinery, but for Sumitomo to supply industry more broadly in Gladstone.

Reducing the carbon intensity of our aluminum production will be key to meeting our 2030 and 2050 climate targets. There’s clearly more work to be done, but partnerships and projects like this are an important part of helping us get there. Sumitomo Corporation’s energy Innovation Initiative, Director Hajime Mori said we are excited about working together with Rio Tinto as our long term partner to develop this hydrogen project in Gladstone and working towards our company’s vision of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. We believe the pilot plant will play a significant role in reestablishing the Gladstone hydrogen ecosystem.

Sumitomo has commenced the design study and preliminary master planning to build the Gladstone hydrogen ecosystem and we will continue to work towards this future hydrogen exports from Gladstone, Deputy premier and Minister for State Development, Steven Miles said Gladstone is an industrial powerhouse and this partnership presents a great opportunity for the region and for Queensland. This is only the beginning of a wave of international collaborations that will lead to new industries and new jobs underpinned by the supply of renewable energy. Mr. Miles said, with the Palaszczuk Government’s strong commitment to creating more jobs in emerging industries. We will work to keep Queensland at the forefront of renewable hydrogen and the opportunities that come With it, Minister for energy, renewables and hydrogen Mick de Brenni said the Palaszczuk Government was developing Queensland’s energy plan to reinforce our platform for international partnerships focused on new technology and a stronger Australia. This is a plan to create a renewable energy ecosystem that will power our low carbon ambitions to transform industry create 1000s of jobs for Queenslanders and decarbonize not only Queensland, but the nation.

Minister for regional development and manufacturing and Minister for water Glenn Butcher to the partnership would provide important economic opportunities for the entire Central Queensland region. Gladstone’s world class deepwater port water security through Awoonga Dam and industry attraction via the local state development area has set Gladstone up to become the hydrogen capital of Australia, providing massive employment and supply chain opportunities both locally and in the central Queensland region. The Sumitomo partnership complements a recently announced feasibility study into using hydrogen to replace natural gas and the alumina refining process at Yarwun, and provides the potential for larger scale implementation if the studies are successful, and next University of Texas researchers to transform untapped oil into clean hydrogen energy. In news coming out of the Jackson School of geosciences from the University of Texas, researchers from UT are pushing an innovative combination of in-situ combustion and carbon dioxide storage to turn untapped oil into clean hydrogen energy.

Researcher Ian Duncan, who leads the earth systems and environment group at the UT Bureau of Economic geology, will discuss the method at the US Department of Energy’s hydrogen Shot kickoff Symposium on August 31 and September 1. According to Duncan, our aim is to produce relatively cheap hydrogen while sequestering co2 elsewhere in the reservoir. This would produce carbon free hydrogen from an energy source that otherwise would remain unused. US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm announced Hydrogen Shot in June as the first of DOE’s energy or shots initiative. The program’s goal is to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen by 80% or to $1 per kilogram in one decade. This is part of the DOE’s plan to accelerate the development of abundant affordable and reliable, clean energy within the decade. achieving this will help reach the goal of net zero carbon emissions in the US by 2050.

Duncan’s research is part of the state of Texas advanced resource recovery programs work to mitigate the impact of the upcoming energy transition on the Texas economy. Approximately half of the oil reserves in the US remains in the ground, and most will never be produced using current technologies and prices this according to Duncan. Texas is well positioned to take advantage of subsurface hydrogen production, as it has huge resources of oil, a well developed oilfield infrastructure and an extensive network of pipelines and right of ways, Duncan’s team is developing new approaches using high performance computing technologies available through the Texas Advanced Computing Center to simulate multi phase flow and thermal effects that are essential to hydrogen production.

The team’s research focuses on using in-situ or on site combustion of oil within the natural reservoir as a heat source. That heat is used to drive the conversion of methane, carbon monoxide and other gases into hydrogen and carbon dioxide in a way that Duncan says emulates the industrial process of gasification and steam reforming and refineries. And according to Scott Tinker, UT’s director of the Bureau of Economic geology, energy has been transitioning from lower density carbon fuels to higher density hydrogen for over a century. This research fits very well into continuing that progression.

Okay, that’s it for me, everyone. If you have any questions, comments or concerns about today’s episode, come and visit me at my website at and let me know. I would really love to hear from you. And as always, take care. Stay safe. I’ll talk to you later.

Hey, this is Paul. I hope you liked this podcast. If you did want to hear more. I’d appreciate it if you would either subscribe to this channel on YouTube, or connect with your favorite platform through my website at Thanks for listening. I very much appreciate it. Have a great day.

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