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UK-Australia Partnership Awards HydGene Renewables $1.125M and We Are Nium Ltd 1.14M for Sustainable Hydrogen and Ammonia Production on Farms

HydGene Renewables, a leader in sustainable hydrogen solutions, is proud to announce the receipt of a AUD$1.125M grant from the Australian Government. This funding will significantly boost our efforts to advance on-demand, low-carbon hydrogen production from agricultural biomass and integrate our proprietary biocatalyst technology with an innovative nanocatalytic ammonia production solution developed by our UK partner, We are Nium Ltd. As part of this joint funding opportunity, Nium have been awarded grant funding of £0.6M ($1.14M) from Innovate UK, the UK's national innovation agency.

The Australia-UK Renewable Hydrogen Innovation Partnerships program, running from 2023 to 2026, supports collaborative hydrogen R&D projects. This initiative aligns with both governments' commitment to international clean energy collaboration under the Paris Agreement, focusing on reducing hydrogen production costs, industrial decarbonisation, and net-zero technology adoption.

The project will develop a decentralised, integrated biomass-to-hydrogen-to-ammonia pilot plant. HydGene’s biocatalyst technology will be scaled to demonstrate a modular straw-to-hydrogen bioprocess plant, while UK partner Nium will advance and scale its nanocatalyst technology for coupling to HydGene’s hydrogen process. Both technologies will be seamlessly integrated as modular and closed-loop systems, suitable for on-farm deployment and capable of converting straw residues into carbon negative hydrogen, and subsequently green ammonia at HydGene’s Australian facility. This project will pave the way for the widespread deployment of decentralised straw-to-ammonia plants on farms. The long-term output of this project will significantly contribute to the production of green ammonia, where a 10 tonne per day biomass to hydrogen plant could produce close to 18,000 tonnes per annum of green ammonia, valued at more than $20M annually.

Supported by Agribusiness Tait Pastoral, the project will use agricultural residues for hydrogen production, providing green ammonia at a 15% discount compared to grey ammonia and reducing on-farm emissions. Typically, only about 20% of a farm’s straw residues are required to meet ammonia demand, with the potential to produce surplus hydrogen for other uses.

As Stuart Tait, owner of Tait Pastoral remarked,

 "It is really special to be involved in a project which has enormous potential to make a huge difference on so many levels across global agriculture."

This UK-AUS partnership addresses the need for green hydrogen and ammonia supply solutions and demonstrates the potential of low-carbon technology for regional deployment. Currently, the primary use of hydrogen is in ammonia production, with ~80% used for fertiliser production. Today, the majority of global hydrogen is made from fossil fuels (grey hydrogen), contributing to 2% of global CO2 emissions. Less than 1% of hydrogen and less than 5% of global ammonia is ‘green’. The green hydrogen market is projected to reach USD $135 billion by 2030 with a CAGR of 51%, while the green ammonia market is expected to reach USD $2.12 billion with a CAGR of 71.7%.

The Australian government’s new Hydrogen Production Tax Incentive (HTPI) announced in the recent May budget will offer AUD $2 per kg of hydrogen over a ten-year period starting from 2027, further supporting the commercial viability of this green hydrogen to ammonia concept.

Successful grant recipients were announced by the Australian Minister for Climate Change and Energy on 7the May 2024 in a speech to the Australian British Energy Transition & Investment Summit held through the Australian British Chamber of Commerce.

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