To mitigate climate change, many nations and organisations have committed to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. A critical element of net-zero is renewable hydrogen, also known as 'Green Hydrogen', which is hydrogen produced by electrolysis of water, using renewable electricity. Green hydrogen offers the only viable way to decarbonize ‘hard-to-abate’ sectors of our economy, such as long-haul transport, shipping, aviation, steel, and chemicals. This project aims to accelerate the decarbonisation of such industries by advancing the manufacture of high efficiency water electrolysers in Australia. Innovative electrochemical and other techniques that exploit all the levers for high efficiency in electrolysers, will be applied to support the commercial development of this key component of green hydrogen production. Expected outcomes of this project, in collaboration with industry partner Hysata Pty Ltd, include a low-cost, simplified design, and even higher energy efficiency than has already achieved. This should provide significant benefits to the green hydrogen sector, industry, and contribute to achieving net-zero emissions globally. The Australian Research Council (Grant IL230100173) is funding the following PhD projects at the University of Wollongong in support of this aim:
Project Title, PhD1: “Properties and Optimisation of Capillary-based Electrode Separators”
This PhD project will form part of a study to investigate and optimise the capillary-induced transport along the porous inter-electrode separator of the electrolysis cell being commercialised by industry partner Hysata. The project will examine in a fundamental way, the porous inter-electrode separator, including its electrical resistance and efficiency. Work will include studies and modelling of its conductivity, capacity for capillary-flow, gas crossover, durability, and other performance metrics. New separators will also be developed and studied.
Project Title, PhD2: “Electrocatalysts for Capillary-Fed Electrolysis Cells”
This PhD project will form part of a study to develop and optimise electrocatalysts for the electrolysis cells being commercialised by industry partner Hysata. The project will involve developing new, high-performing electrocatalysts and current carriers with maximised electrochemical performance and high long-term durability. Detailed and fundamental studies of specific classes of anode and cathode electrocatalysts will be undertaken, with the aim of elucidating and optimising their mode of operation.
Applicants should submit the following to Professor Gerry Swiegers (firstname.lastname@example.org):
- A cover letter detailing relevant experience and research interest.
- A CV with academic transcripts, and names and addresses of two referees.
Both domestic and international prospective candidates are encouraged to apply. International applicants should include valid IELTS or TOEFL score.