BRII webinar: Turn farm crops into a renewable hydrogen source

BRII webinar: Turn farm crops into a renewable hydrogen source

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Hi everyone welcome, and thank you for joining, us today. We're going to begin, our webinar. In about one. Minute. My name is trinity and i'll be moderating, today's webinar. I'd like to begin by acknowledging, the traditional, custodians. Of the land on which we gather today. And pay my respects, to their elders, past and present, i extend that respect to aboriginal, and torres strait islander, peoples here. Some housekeeping, rules are today's webinar, is recorded, and will be available, on the bree website, in the coming days. Please keep your microphones, on mute and if you'd like to ask a question during the webinar. Please write this in the q a box at the bottom of the screen. The q a box is to the right of the, participants. Box, and it's different from the chat box so just make sure you you definitely. Type all of your answers in that particular, space. We'll be answering, as many questions as we can at the end of all of the presentations. If we don't get to your questions during the webinar we'll answer these individually. I'd like to welcome brad morton from the department of industry, science energy and resources. We'll give you an overview of the challenges, and how you can apply. Followed by justin, and rupe from grdc. And saab from csiro. Who'll provide more detail, around their specific, challenge brad, i'll now i'll now hand over control to you. Hi my name's bradley moore and i'm the program manager for bree. I've worked in bre program for the last three and a half years, and managed, the last two rounds of brie. On the webinar i also have pete from the program team and george from our policy team to help me out answer some questions. Okay so what is bree, bree enables, australian, government agencies, to tap into leading edge thinking, and seeks innovative, solutions from startups, and smes, which are small to medium enterprises. To challenges, identified, in public policy, and service delivery. So how does it. Work. For this round the program covers five environmental. Challenges, for which smes, small media enterprises. Can develop solutions, these challenges were proposed, by the australian, government agencies. And the successful, challenges were recommended, by innovation, science australia. And approved by the minister. Smes. With a great idea, are invited, to apply. And address the challenges, through the development of a new solution. We do understand, your new solution, can be a modification. Of existing, technology. The best applications, will receive. Upfront, funding for a feasibility. Study. The winners will receive grants of up to 100 000, to test and document, their ideas, over three months. The most successful, ideas, or feasibility, studies, are then eligible, to apply, for a further grant of up to one million dollars to develop a prototype, or proof of concept, over the next 18. Months. Once the solution has been developed the sme, has the advantage, of an agency considering, buying a solution, or selling the solution, to the industry sector. Smes, are encouraged, to sell these new solutions, worldwide. As you retain. The intellectual, property rights to your solution. Please know. Some challenges. Will have the government agencies, the intended, end user others will not for example from a previous round i tree is developing, the world first. Child safety, information, sharing platform. Between state and territory governments.

From A large government contract, afterbury. Other challenges, have addressed a gap in the marketplace. For example, mars and jacob associates, waterflow, app was designed to give farmers, and irrigators, free up-to-date, water trading information. The app offers both free, and paid content, in this instance, the government agency was one of the many potential. Customers, using the premium, subscription, service. So while you're solving the specific, challenge for the government agency, you also need to ensure you develop your solution, in a way that allows you to capture more than one customer. And if possible more than one market, that's why we say brie. Gives businesses, the chance to work with government, create a novel solution. That could be launched globally. Brief funding, and cash flow. Bree provides, smes. With critical, early stage financial, support, for the development, of new to market innovations. The feasible, study feasibility. Study grants. Are available for successful. Applicants. For up to a hundred thousand dollars to. Undertake. A feasibility, study for three months. With two million in total funding for this stage it works out to around four hundred thousand dollars available, for each challenge. The second stage proof of concept grants. Successful. Feasibility. Study participants, will then be eligible, to apply, for up to one million dollars to develop a proof of concept or a prototype. With 10 million. In total funding for this stage it works out to around two million dollars, available, for each of the challenges. Working with agencies, brie is not about giving you the dollars and then leaving you to develop your solution, in. Isolation. The program, has inbuilt monthly catch-ups. And we encourage, you and your company, particularly, during the feasibility, stage to have discussions. Questions and answers conversations. And workshops, with the agencies. The more the better. The program also allows the grantees. To do a presentation, at the end of the feasibility, study, and the proof of concept stage so you can, show and explain, your solution, to the agencies, and relevant, key stakeholders.

The Department of industry, will manage, the administrative, side of the grant. The challenge, agencies will provide, information. Context, expertise. Around the challenge to be solved. And you and your company are responsible, for developing, the solution that solves the challenge, and, market and launch into the future. Okay to maximize, your opportunity, for success. Bree. Provides, many opportunities. Significant. Funding, to entrepreneurs. Smes, and startups, to explore, and develop commercially, viable innovative, technologies. This is not match funding. If selected, you can access up to 1.1, million. Gives you the chance to gain a significant, reference customer, and track record, leading to facilitating. A path to market and new opportunities, for future investment, and growth. For example likely theory a round one grantee, developed convalence, a web-based. Consultation. Platform, it enables, better engagement, and consultation, with communities, and within departments. As part of their research, work they ended up gaining a contract, with the department of prime minister and cabinet, to do a piece of work on the aps, review about two thirds of the way through the proof of concept. Free also gives you the opportunity, to gain and improve knowledge, experience, and develop relationships, with australian, government clients. Bree also gives you, the ability to retain, your ip, rights, for you to commercialize. Products, concepts, domestically. And internationally. Breed gives you the opportunity, to explore. And exploit, spin-off, products. Another round one grantee atarmo's. Project, has led them, to. Being involved with the innovative, vector, control, consortium, to develop technologies, to combat malaria. And, other deadly mosquito-borne. Diseases, which is being led by the department, of foreign affairs and trade. Prairie also gives you the potential, to access, other government agents. Other government assistance, programs, such as accelerating, commercialization. Okay we move on to eligibility. To be eligibility, for the feasibility, study and proof of concept grants you have to have an abn number, on abn sorry. And have a turnover, of less than 20 million dollars per year over the last three years, there is an acceptation. For organizations, who are controlled, by, an australian, university, or a public sector research, organization. Please see the guidelines, for more information. Newly established, companies are welcome to apply. Joint applications, will be accepted, provided the lead applicant is both the primary, project, proponent, and meets all other criteria. And individuals, and partnerships, may be considered, eligible, if they agree to form a corporation. That meets, all the, eligibility. Requirements. Okay those that are not eligible, include income tax exempt companies. Government agencies. Federal state local and government business enterprises. Will not be eligible. And trusts will not be eligible, although a corporation. Acting. As a corporate trustee. May apply, on behalf of a. Trust. Okay next is the merit criteria, this is what the applications, will be assessed on. A suggestion, is to get to the point. Not too much jargon. As the assessment. Committee may have a lot of these to read through. Merit criterium, one, extent. That your proposed, solution, meets the challenge. So how does it, meet the challenge. And how is it different to what is already in the market. How is it in a how is it an innovative, solution, and how does it solve the challenges, the things you need to focus on. Merit criteria, two market, opportunity, for your proposed, solution. We know there's a market need for the proposed solution within government which is why there's a challenge, but it's also. Good to include the future, commercial. Potential, of the solution, in domestic, and international, markets. For example how would it be commercialized. Include the market opportunities. The flexibility. And scalability. Of your solution. And could it be used in other industries. Expanded, into other markets. Etc. Merit criteria, 3 capacity. Capability. And resources, to deliver the project. This is where you can include your, track record in managing similar projects. Your access to personnel, with the right skills and experience. Your access and future. Access, to infrastructure. Equipment, technology, intellectual, property. And this is where you also include us, your sound project, plan to manage and monitor the projects and its risks. And also your project budget. So focus, on you know past achievements. Similar successful, projects. Your key personnel, and their experience, and qualifications.

Thanks Brad, hopefully that answers everyone's, questions about how they can apply for a challenge. Please keep your questions, coming through, i'll now hand over to justin, from grdc. To provide more detail, about their challenge. I've probably got a couple of extra little lines to go if that's all right oh sorry. Gotta be excited there. The application, form is located, on Dot au portal. And some things to note about the application, are you can start it and save it at any time. There are some character limits in the application, form. Do not leave it to the last few hours to complete. Be mindful of the different time zones. And the application, will automatically, close at the schedule time of 5 pm, on thursday, the 10th of september. Any application, still open then will not be submitted, and we do not accept late applications. So if you do have a great idea and meet the eligibility, criteria, we strongly, encourage you to apply. There's one more slide after this about. The You. Website. There's some great. Information, on there i recommend you check it out it's got the grant opportunity, guidelines. Please read through those. And it's also got some templates, that will help you apply, such as your financial, turnover, declaration. And also letters of support templates, if you need them. Thank you. Okay i'm good to go. All right so, um i'll hand over to justin from grdc, now to provide more detail about their challenge. Thanks for that and uh nice little uh fine print work there brad very good. So we can move on uh, the the main challenge that we've got here. From the grdc, perspective. Ties in with a range of investment, that we've got, and it comes from a change of focus. From the grdc. From one that really, was heavily, based upon how do we increase productivity, to one that, looks at the whole farming system, and the whole profitability, of that enterprise. And. Uh, for those of you who don't know what what grains research development corporation, is that we're one of, 15. Uh rural research, and development corporations, across australia. So we take levies from growers, and we match those with government funds and we invest in, research, development and extension. And as you can see there from that slide our purpose is about how do we create enduring, profitability, for australian grain growers. The. The real, element that comes with looking at profitability. And looking at that whole farming system, approach, is, that opportunity, to, create. Um. The enduring, nature of environmental, outcomes, so. Obviously this looking at how do we create. Renewable, hydrogen, has a whole range of environmental, benefits but one of the, things that we really want to do is figure out how do we pin, the creation of that environmental, benefit. Into. A profitable, farming system. So, it's worth perhaps then talk talking uh turning the next slide because that'll help us talk through, what are the opportunities, for us, to partner with, bree and with a partner through bree, and how do we create, both, you know more profitable farming systems. But also how do we contribute, to an environmental, objective. So, one of the the reasons, that we're really interested, in this project, is, that we have an investment at the moment that's looking at, creating, renewable, ammonia. That goes into. Goes into the farming system as fertilizer, most particularly. Now. One of the reasons that nitrogen, is really important or fertilizer, is really important for growers is that. It's it is the largest. Grain production, input cost. But in terms of that environmental, outcome we also know that it is the largest source of greenhouse, gas emissions. If you don't get it right, there can be a number of costs that go into the farming system so one might be that you, you actually, don't hit. Certain grades. But also in terms of putting nitrogen, on if you put too much on it can actually be detrimental, to your crop. And as you can see there. The use of nitrogen, is actually one of those really, uh expensive, costs, that is the largest cost across, the input costs across. Growers, excluding. That issue of. You know actually buying capital land itself. So we click onto the next slide, i'll give you a bit of a view on the environmental. Impacts. Of, nitrogen, fertilizer. And we can see so this is from a study that was done in, uh you know wagawaga. But we've actually done a similar study in every, every sort of growing region across australia. And what it tells us is that. Nitrogen, fertilizer. Is, is actually the biggest, source of. Emissions, in the grain farming system. And importantly. When we look at that, and if you go into that. Into any of those lines but i guess the canola line there is the easiest to see and that's that, that sort of darker, orange which is fertilizer, pre-farm.

So, The majority, of the emissions, or sorry the biggest source of emissions, from, from an australian, grain farming system. Is actually. Energy that's taken to create nitrogen, fertilizer. So, it's a really, uh important, opportunity, for us to, again, do two things if we can reduce. The embedded emissions, in in nitrogen, then we can actually. I probably reduce the cost of it, but b we're actually creating more sustainable. And more environmentally, responsible, australian grains industry. Which is beneficial, both in terms of what we're doing in climate change, across australia. But also ensures that we can make markets. That are interested, in what our, emissions, footprint looks like. So, we go to the, the next. The next slide. And we'll talk a bit about, what us you know i guess. Why this is an opportunity, for us. And so when we look at, what goes into creating. Nitrogen, fertilizer. It's using what's called the haber bosch system. And the haber bosch system. And i've just lost my slide so i'll just keep talking the hyper bosch system is is a very industrialized. Process. It involves. Extremely. Hot. Uh temperatures. In you know has a. You know a lot of pressure that's involved. But again if we look at, um. The last. Two, last three sort of dot points there i guess the. The third and the fourth top point is saying that it actually is a very energy intensive. Process. And so it is about two percent of the world's fossil fuels and. Emits quite a lot of of carbon, dioxide, equivalent. But. But the imperative. Is not to reduce, the amount of fertilizer, unnecessarily. Because half of the world's food actually comes from the use of nitrogen fertilizer. So what we need to do is find ways. To create, benefit. For the environment. Whilst maintaining, our, ability, to produce, food. That feeds not just australian, credits, you know revenue source but also, you know the global imperative, about, clean clean nitrogen fertilizers. Is, overwhelming. So that's currently what we've got here we've got a very, energy intensive process we move to the next slide. You can see some work that the grains research development corporation, has been doing with our partners. Csiro. With. Orica, as a commercial, partner and with funding through. Through arena. And what we're trying to do is, is look at that opportunity. To create. Low energy. Um. A lower energy source for nitrogen. And. What that does is, you know looking at that opportunity, firstly. To reduce the amount of energy that it takes to create hydrogen, that fuels. The the harbor oh sorry that fuels the produce, production of ammonia which becomes nitrogen, fertilizer. And what that will do is then also pair, with as we see here this investment i was talking about before with arena. Uh, csiro. And with aurica. Which is looking at. A new way of creating. Nitrogen, and that is, a. Less energy-intensive. Electrolysis. Process. So we'll talk a bit about, about that but before we move off this slide. I guess the the really important, piece. Here is when we look at at this this comes from a business case that we did in terms of that investment, in. A distributed, ammonia, production, system. And you can see there that it focuses, on that issue about, cereal, straw which is a, a crop, residue. Now, we've not. Narrowed the focus of this. Brie, challenge, down to just using. Uh farm crop residues, being cereal straw. But we're actually interested, in, what are you know how can we use farm crops whether it's a new type of crop whether it's. Crop residues, or whether it's an alternative. Use of of existing, farm crops. We want to actually explore a whole range of those opportunities. So that we can use a biomass. That's produced, on farm, to create renewable, hydrogen. And the real challenge. For those of you who are interested in. Partnering, through this process, is, can i make, that feed stuff, the the crop biomass. Can i fit that into a farming system. And i say that because there's an opportunity, cost for everything in the farming system. And you know that we've come out of a, fairly. Torrid drought on the east coast this year. Before that we had a real issue in terms of maintaining. Ground cover, because, there's a number of parts particularly, in new south wales and queensland that haven't had rain for a number you know a number of years. And so, what that meant is that they had didn't have ground cover which meant issues around erosion. So, i guess the challenge here is not just to go, there's an easy solution because there's. You know, about seven million tons of cereal straw, produced, a year. The challenge, is to make sure that, whatever, process, that we go through here, will fit into the farming system, create returns, for farmers because.

There's An opportunity, cost of removing, serial straw so that's why i'm saying, broaden your horizons, think around a range of. What biomass, could be that input. Because it needs to fit in the farming system. Okay we can push onto that next slide please. I've spoken a fair bit around. Around this and, i guess the context. For you to think through here is, is again that issue about how do we partner, with, the desire, of farmers to do two things farmers want to you know make. Make profit and actually feed their families. But they also want to be sustainable. Stewards, of of, their land and their water and the you know the assets that they've got. And, so one of the the opportunities. For us. In terms of this arena. Piece was, to think about, can we, reduce, the size. Of the plant that's you know required, to take or to create nitrogen fertilizer, so it's the size and the scale of the harbour bosch system, are one of the things that make it quite expensive, so yes, high energy input costs. But also we have it located, in, in um you know. Scaled, up environments. So we're looking about could we descale. The opportunity to create nitrogen fertilizer, bring it closer, to, the the place where it's going to be used on farm. And then also pair that with. Um. Pair that with both renewable, energy but also renewable, hydrogen sources so that's, that's, some of the, where this came from, but as i said until, we find a renewable, source. Um so that that input there's a little process map we've got there. That's, that's looking at how we use renewable. Energy. With hydrogen, to create, a lower, a lower. Emission, footprint, for nitrogen fertilizer. But it still requires. Hydrogen, which, can come from quite expensive, processes, so so again that's what this challenge is how do we. How do we fuel. That, uh renewable. Nitrogen, creation. But at the same time if we're to look to that future and as i said thinking about that, those pair drivers, of of australian farmers and that is to. You know to be a good business, and to. You know sustainably, steward the resources, they've got. There's going to be a whole range of new tech opportunities. So for example. I know someone, on the call here, is looking at opportunities, for, being off the grid. So, what are the opportunities, for us to enable, farmers. To set up in areas where we don't have mains power lines. Um, can we use renewable, hydrogen as a you know as an energy, source.

That Is used on their farm so, so again, that could be an issue here, as we see technological. Breakthroughs, that see. Hydrogen-powered. Tractors. How can we use. Renewable, hydrogen to actually fuel. That source and even further. Both the risk, and uh remove cost, out of a farmers business. Whilst at the same time, improving, their profitability. So we can move on to. The next slide. And i've done a bit of duplication, here. So it said we have a feasibility, study that's going on uh it's looking, it's looking promising. Our colleague from cyro. Saab giddy is on the line, and he is the technical, expert in this space so, you want to ask questions about what we're doing, in that space. And. What our you know what sort of outputs do we need from this brick project. I'm going to do the handball, straight, to sub. So. So you might as well direct them to him in the first place. Um. And as i said that that last point there is around, if we can actually descale, this bring it close to the, closer to the farm. Um and reduce the whole range of other transaction, costs and other energy costs there. Next slide please. I think we've talked through most of these, these issues here about what are these benefits. Um. Again lower emissions. Creating energy savings. Um. Distributing, that system. But also reducing the capital cost so i think that they all, pretty much speak, for themselves. So. You can move to the next slide. Nice, nice deck of sort them in the next slide there. What what do we expect. Um, from a grdc. As a partner, in bree. You know, we're looking to try and create moderate and scalable. Hydrogen, production. Uh, that particularly, requires, low energy inputs. You know there is, a need to try and demonstrate, that high purity. Hydrogen that comes out of it. We want to be able to. Have it so that it could be placed alongside, of a decentralized. Nitrogen. Production, process, that's coming through our orica. Cyro. Arena grant. But that last piece which is one of the, clear goals that we have from a gdc, perspective, is it has to fit in the farming system therefore it has to, offer them value. To actually use their crops for different, for a different purpose. Okay. So, that brings us to our last substantive, slide. Technical. Pieces. I missed that one on my, slide deck here but that's that's very much a, assad, piece so that's for those of you who are interested in the technical, issues as opposed to what we want to achieve here. Um. Those are the main pieces there and that's about that, high quality, or high purity, hydrogen. Um, we needed to be low on impurities. Uh. You've got to actually have a a pressure that it'll. Uh that will withstand. And also about, what the minimum levels of production, that will be required. And then, our last slide. Please, hopefully our last slide. No. Put the old bag. What can we bring. Well. If we're asking you to be involved, and make sure this fits the farming system we have contacts, into farming system networks. So we can actually, help link you up with, groups that would be interested and we know that that. The department, through the bree team have actually already had. Approaches. From farming systems, groups that are interested, in, um partnering, with with, the proponents, of this challenge, so, we do have links into that. We can, use some of our own expertise, to understand how it might fit at that decentralized. Level. Via csiro. We have that technical, expertise, that's attached to it in terms of that, thermo, and electrochemical. Technologies. And lastly we do bring some business development expertise, into that space, and we do have pathways. For for mvps, to attract, additional, investment. Through, our vc. Uh, investment, with grain innovate. Next slide. Here's the slide i was looking for you know, i guess for us the bree, the breed challenge is that opportunity, to create that double dividend, and that is as i said, when we, uh when we put or when we embrace, environmental, outcomes, into. Research. Outputs, that create profit for growers. We create that double dividend, becomes a durable environmental, outcome. Um, but likewise, it actually creates more sustainable. Australian farming businesses so that's what we're really interested in, in partnering, with bree and with with those proponents, through.

Through Breed. Um. But we also note that. This this is much broader than just their nitrogen, challenge as i said, the opportunities for on farm renewable, power generation. Opportunities. For, you know heat and power for residential. Um and also, other opportunities, that will lower our emissions footprint. By using. Hydrogen, as renewable, you know fuel stuff, for things like tractors. For pumping, water, those sorts of applications, so, that's the the double dividend, that we think that we can, create by this partnership. So that's the end of our presentation, happy to go into, some question and answer. Okay, thank you both for your presentations. We've received quite a few um i'll start with two questions. For yourself, justin, and they're along the same path, along the same um. Question. Um, is it possible to focus on the production, of renewable, hydrogen, on farm only. The addition of ammonia, plants adds greater complexity, and costs to the challenges. And is effectively, a problem that have has been solved already. And something similar. Is this project, only about generating, hydrogen, to go into ammonia, or is it also about alternatively, going about generating, electrical, power from bio, grass biogas, fuels derived from crops. Um in order to allow farmers to be self-sufficient, from the electrical, grid. Look i think that. For us the key challenges. Is you know what brought this opportunity to our attention, is the opportunity, to partner, with their renewable, or with our distributed, ammonia production, process. Um there's lots of, effort going into that space not just, with what we're doing with zara but around the world there's a number of different. Opportunities, in that, space. So for us, the key piece that that identified was missing was. To be able to, to, use, you know farm biomass. To create renewable, hydrogen. That could feed into as i said in that last slide a number of different opportunities. Uh ammonia, production is one of them, but renewable, on farm. Uh energy sources. The opportunity, to to reduce, reliance, upon the grid. You know i was talking to some dairy farmers, the other day, and, for example they were talking about their moving to renewable energy and a lot of it was about, mitigating. Risk, in hot environments, in terms of power failure. So there's a whole range of benefits we can bring by incorporating. You know hydrogen. Hydrogen. Energy, source into the farming system. Okay thanks for that could you please give us a scale of crops available, annually. One million farm waste, also what type of crop. Yeah so i mean, the slide that i had up, before which looked at the future standard notes that, you know the the detail i put in that there's roughly. Seven million tons of cereal straw per year. But you know we. Have an annual farm crop of around 14, billion dollars worth of value. Um the the challenge here will be, to place something that creates value in that farming system, uh into renewable, hydrogen. So, you know that's the opportunity, to actually work with, farming, systems, groups and with with others that, can identify, what that that feeding, thought could be. I know that there's a. Conversation, in the the chat from john welch i'm going to get in ahead of you john, um that notes about the ability to use cotton trash. You know, we're comfortable, with that, what we're looking for is, you know how can it actually fit into the system so cotton trash is a residue, waste, um that could be used, but it ultimately, could be a new farm it could be a different type of crop.

That Has um, you know used like a pasture crop. Yeah, we're not, fixed on whatever it needs to be, rather what we want to see is um. The creativity, of participants, to identify. New ways to use that that farm biomass. Into hydrogen. Along the similar lines what tonnage of biomass, is produced, on average per location. Farm acre. We'll have to take that one on notice, it's going to vary, on, production, system. The seasonality. The different types of crops because different crops will have different standing heights. Desire, for a farmer, to. To maintain, residue. At a specific, height in terms of his long-term. Uh, land stewardship. As well as weed management. So, there's no single answer for that, again that's the opportunity, for you to. Partner with you know with individual, groups that can provide you with that, know-how. And, create that double dividend, for their farming system as well as for the creation of renewable, hydrogen. Great thank you, sab this is a question for you, would you consider, a technology, with biological. Conversion, of agriculture, biomass, to hydrogen. Yes we can consider, but i think probably it has to, really demonstrate, that it is scalable. Because i think these systems are, at a quite. Low trl, yet. So i think probably we have to look at the the scalability. Of that process. Um, justin, is there any reason why cotton gin trash, could not be used. Proving to be a real nuisance, for gins. I think i i mentioned john's uh question in my last response. In terms of where i sit i don't see. Um, that to be, a, you know a limiter, again we're looking for, canned farm crops so crops that that farmers grow commercially. Uh either, specifically, for use of hydrogen, or, a residue, for their current, you know production, system. Can they be used in terms of creating this hydrogen, so, so again i think john's question is clearly in scope. Um and we'll look at how that fits into the farming system. Nearly all cotton farmers, are also grain growers so again i don't, there's no issue there the issue is can we grow it in a way that. Fits into a farming system. And you know can we do it in a way that's you know, economical. For, um you know for that farming system and those participants. Are you aware that biochar. Can be used to create bio asphalt, and green. Concrete. I'm going to refer that one to saab have you got any views on that sub. Um. Yeah i have to check that i think probably but, here actually we are looking at if biochar, can be can go back into the soil actually to improve the quality, of the soil itself. Rather than, transporting, somewhere else for other applications. And in terms of what our challenge, here is it's kind of you know, no offense meant here but it's actually not focusing what we're trying to do, um you know obviously there's other opportunities, for you to, to use those systems, that's that's great but that's that's not really what we're looking for in terms of, this brew challenge. Great thanks for confirming. Um, i'm back to you sab is the csiro. Report accessible, to the public. Uh, yes i think probably, we, recently, have submitted, a report to arena, and there is one technical, confidential, report but there is another report. Which is for public dissemination. And that can be accessed yes. Okay, so we'll be um where will that be accessed, from. So it's it should be on the arena, website. Arena, website okay. Um. How close to being commercially, available, are hydrogen, tractors and other farm equipment.

Not Really so much in our scope but there was a report on the abc, just a fortnight, ago noting that, that there is a manufacturer, in wollongong, that indeed was looking to manufacture, hydrogen-powered. Tractors so. Um, so, we'll see technologies. That will develop in that way, our opportunity, to ensure, that that, now that market expands, is that people have access, to, hydrogen. To actually fuel it so. Again, the issue about those, you know is slightly out of scope in terms of the the. Actual. Viability, of this process. But then there's the need to um to again obviously what what's the market demand for the technologies, once they're created. That's something that will go through those further stages of brie as we try and firm up, what's the mvp, and what's his business proposition. Okay. Um is there a target, guidance, price for the hydrogen, product that is considered, by grdc. To be commercial. As i said, the reality, is it's going to you know vary based upon, farming system the farming system, and the different crops the yields that can be obtained from those crops and the willingness, of, people to forego, issues like ground cover in order to use, use, crop residues, so, there's no set answer for that and that again will be part of that. Examining, what's the feasibility, of a proton. And can grdc. Comment on what commercial. Low pressure ammonia production, technology. They have or will consider. For example, electrochemical. Thermochemical. Plants. I think the the key piece around this is again think about what's the scope, of, of this brief challenge and if i if you've got any date at the end of this sub feel free to jump in but. But. Our key thing is making sure that it will feed into. Uh into our process. But it's not the only challenge so so again, the key here around this is can we create renewable, hydrogen, out of farm biomass, as opposed to. Specifically, having, throughput. Obviously. What comes out of our distributor, money project may be one outlet for this hydrogen. It's one that we're very interested in, but it doesn't matter it's the only outlet for it. Yeah i agree with you um i think justin i think we are looking at that hydrogen. Not only for ammonia but it can it can have several other applications, as well you know that hydrogen can be stored on farm as well for, for power generation, for any other applications, yeah. Can you comment, on which hydrogen. Production, is preferred, electrolyzers. Or gasification. Um, so, um. Electrolyzers. Are preferred, if we have, renewable, source of laxity if we have solar pv or wind generator, we have electricity, coming from there, and that can feed to electrolyzer, and you can produce hydrogen that will be, zero emission hydrogen, right, but if we are looking at a hydrogen. Produced from a gasification. Of biomass, then we are looking at co2, neutral process. But if biomass, is available, i think that's pretty good actually, because i think still you have to look at where the renewable. Laxity can come from so biomass. On the waste is already available which can be utilized. Directly to produce hydrogen. So considering, the harvest, cycle of crops how are farmers supposed to provide a consistent, biomass, source for everyday. Usage. Again, in terms of thinking about, this challenge we're not fixing this solely, on, um you know on crop residues. Or the like. The opportunity, here is for actually. Developing, something that fits with the farming system so we're not going to. You know in our in our, looking at it we're not going to be fixed to a, specific, way um, or a specific, type of crop. Rather we want proponents, to work with or you know demonstrate that they're willing to work with farmers to understand, what's the opportunity, in the farming system. And then to develop technologies, based upon, both you know as i said. Feed-ins, but also understanding about what the market is coming out that yeah there's a that's part of the gap. Thanks justin, um this i think you've pretty much answered this, in terms of um. What biomass, can constitute. But. Um i'll ask it anyway so with the biomass, a lot of, cq, properties, have access to lance wood and a lot of other regrowth, can we utilize this.

Feedstock. Uh yeah look i mean. The way we've set this challenge, you know is is more around, um you know canned farm crops, so. We would be looking at that there's, you know there may be some opportunities, to consider that further um, yeah i guess the only way for us to really evaluate, that is for, a proponent, to come to us you know through the process, and we can consider, it. Okay. Um. What is the main in in nitrogen, product of interest, ammonia. Urea, or ammonium, nitrate. Ammonia, is the building block of of all those things. So. You know the reality, is what we're doing is to feed stuff into the creation, of of fertilizers, that are nitrogen. Nitrogenous. Fertilizer. There are a few routes from biomass, to fertilizer, does the proposal, have to involve gasification. Your sub. Um, i think probably we can look at what are the other options but i think probably the, the conventional, way we are looking at is the biomass, gasification. But if there are other rules you know we can definitely look at those actually if they, if they look promising, yeah. Has the dna, same. Measured the residual, nitrogen, composition. In straw proportional. To the initial, nitrogen, input to a crop. You would have to take that one on on notice. There has been some work that looks at. Uh the amount of nitrogen, that comes from deposit. Decomposing. Stubble, and the like. But i don't have that, detail at hand. Okay, we'll um answer that one later, is the 200, kilogram. H2, target applicable, to the pilot or commercial, project. Over to you sab. Well i think probably. 200, kilogram. Hydrogen, produced, per day actually probably i think can typically, serve. A, a typical size farm you know which is i think four thousand, three hundred thirty, hectares, of land. Um, that's the target, but i think probably, if we can still demonstrate, that the technology. Can be scaled up to that level. And uh. But i think probably. Here we are looking at i think multiple, farms you know maybe, the, if the gasification, unit can serve maybe, few farms rather than just one farm i think that will be good, um but i think probably that's, 200 kilograms, is the limit currently i think we are looking at here. Is the project, about generating, pure hydrogen, or is methane, generation. Uh a target also. No only hydrogen, i think we are looking at only production, of hydrogen, not methane. Yeah. All right currently it looks like they're a technical. Technical. Area for the hydrogen. Purity pressure etc. What about other technology, systems that supersede. The haber bosch, and convert, hydrogen, to ammonia, via a different mechanism, than the, grc, and csiro. Pilot plant. So i think probably, the haber bosch is the. Is the only main process which is currently used i think a natural gas is the feedstock, used in that. And to produce, ammonia. And the other. Method which is, which was being used sometimes, earlier is electrolyzer. But i think probably. Because of the prices of natural gas is much cheaper you know that's why i think probably, most of the plants about i think 75, 80 percent of the ammonia, is produced from natural gas, and that is by having wash process, there's no other process. Of ammonia production. Are you favoring, solutions, that reduce ghg, emissions. Or rather maximize, h2 production. I think we would like to, maximize, the hydrogen production but also if we can take care of some of the waste materials which are going to come out from the gasifier. Um, i think this relates to one of the, first questions that we've put on notice can you give a ballpark, tonnage then just for the main type of crop in australia that you think can benefit from this.

Yeah As i mentioned before, in response to that question. The. The reality, is that, we we're not trying to, force you into a mod mode on this. That, it'll be up to components, to work within, you know farming, systems and understand, what those opportunities. Are, and that would part of the the feasibility. Process. Thanks, justin, is the expectation. That cost the cost of reducing hydrogen, from crops is cheaper than creating hydrogen, from cracking water directly. Do you have any technical, ones on that that sound. Um. So i think i just want to understand, the question is it about, whether the hydrogen should come from the electrolyzer, or the gasifier, we're just comparing the two technologies, is it. Yeah do you want me to read that question out again, yes please yeah, is the expectation. That the cost of producing, hydrogen, from crops is cheaper, than creating hydrogen, from cracking water directly. Um. Yes i think probably the electrolyzer. Electrolysis, is a very energy, intensive, process i think probably it. Takes about i think about 55. 60 kilowatt. Hour of electricity. To produce a kilogram, of hydrogen. Um. And that laxity, has to come from somewhere actually, so here we are looking at a solution. Where we already have biomass, available, on the farm so i think probably, that'll be a co2 neutral process, right so i think probably that's. That's that's better rather than using electrolyzer, technology. And i think from uh if we're to think about the environmental, benefit here so obviously we're looking at how do we create environmental, benefits through the farming system approach but. Um. From an, overall, environmental, benefit we need to. Trial a number of different approaches, here so we can actually find, um you know lasting, durable, and. Scalable. Systems, that. Create, benefit. So, so we're not precluding, the opportunity, for people to do that it's just not this project. If i can just add. Just another comment on that actually probably if we have to use electrolysis. Then we need the electric then we need, solar farm somewhere on the farm itself you know so i think that's going to add to the cost, so here, we are looking at you know if the biomass, which is already available, on the farm, can we use that to produce hydrogen, for production, of ammonia, or production, of power from that hydrogen. Okay great thanks to that. Um, the, flow diagram, someone, was hoping that you could, clarify, which part of the process. You are focusing, on in that diagram. What what that showed was was from. You know this, or the, biomass, in you know which had serial straw. Through to, the the. Uh process, of creating ammonia. In terms of. This brie project, it's actually just the hydrogen. That is a fuel stuff or, a feed stuff, into the renewable, ammonia process that we're, engaging, in with. With um, with oracle, with sarah with with arena. Okay. Um. You've mentioned, csiro. Many times. Um, does the, applicant. Need to work with csiro. And what will what role will csiro. Sorry play. In terms of, where, we're at so we have an investment with cyra, you know cfiro. And, one of the key outcomes that we'd like from this is actually, feed stuff for that process, so we're looking to.

Create Opportunities, to, drastically, reduce, the amount of energy that it takes. Energy and cost that it takes to create nitrogen, fertilizer. And the opportunity, to actually, decentralize. Its production, therefore put it close to where farmers, are. So one of the key things that we will be evaluating. A proponent, against is their ability, to produce, the hydrogen, that's required, for. That piece of work. Okay. Um, in the bree challenge summer you you refer to animal matter could you please specify, what animal matter you're referring. To. And i'm just trying to. Find that but we might have to take that on no so i don't have the debris, challenge. Um. You know. Flyer in front of me unless you've got something you'd like to comment on that one sub. No i think probably we are. Looking at, um. Biomass. Based actually, on the farm uh, and i think probably. We are. I'm not sure i think probably it's it's included, in the in the, flyer probably you know the other, waste can be also considered like animal waste as well i think that's. Yeah it is it is included in that yeah the fly. Yeah i think you're right there, when we um first. Conceptualized. This we did include animal waste. Um but the main focus is definitely, the crops. Yeah so i would focus on that. And definitely in terms of that desirability. For the farming system that's that's where it's most likely to fit. You know our selection, criteria. Um. So the challenge is to convert biomass, to hydrogen, only. Correct yes. Growers, indicate, that they do not use ammonia. Profurea. Is it okay to process. Through to urea, recognizing. That nh3. Could be supplied, to those growers, needing it. You know when you look at the base base element of of urea, is is an ocean that comes from ammonia. So. From that perspective. You know it's complementary. To, further processing. Will there be any weightage, given. On energy efficient, production, of. Hydrogen. Yes, i i think so yes i think if um, efficiency, is basically, you know comes down to how much hydrogen you can produce per ton of. Biomass, so i think probably yes definitely that will be a. Criteria. Um. What was the target output, of hydrogen, on the second last slide slide please. I think it was 200, kilograms, a, day. That's true here. Is producing, hydrogen, the only option, is there a simplest solution, to extract ammonia, directly from crops and agriculture, waste. Will such a solution, be considered. Whilst, that might be a worthwhile, challenge, again it's not within the scope of what we're proposing, in this brie, challenge.

Okay. I would have thought that if you're producing, biochar, from hydrogen, production, that it could in fact be carbon, negative, not just neutral. Biotite, is a form of sequestration. That can last in soils and materials, for centuries, right. So i have to take that on notice although i'm not quite. Sure whether that's a comment or a question that goes to the eligibility, or selection criteria, for this challenge. Sure we'll put that one on notice. Um can it be a combination, of, agrophotovated. Type. Agriphotovoltaic. With the bio, ester to power a renewable hydrogen, plant. I have to take it on note actually here. To answer that. Do you have a certain, expectation. On the economics, of the hydrogen, production, process. For example, what dollar per kilo, kilo of hydrogen, production, would make it profitable, to most farmers. Um, how should the economics, of the renewable, hydrogen, production, compared to the current hydrogen, sourcing. For ammonia, production. And again that's part of that feasibility. Process, that the successful, applicant would need to go through because, we're not mandating, a specific. Use of, of you know a specific, crop that can be used or whether it's a residue, or a new crop, um rather it'll be about. Working through what's economically, viable. Both for the production, system and therefore have it fit within the economics of the farming system. I think also we'd um, have expectation, that the challenge organization, would have the expertise, to help us, work through that so, we'd like to see you bring that to the table for us. Okay. There's a question to do with water, um having come through a drought. Um. Where would we get the water for the hydrogen. Um. For the, water for the hydrogen, electrolysis. Especially. Regional areas. Yeah well this this this process is on biomass, gasification. You know, there's hardly any water required, actually yeah. Water is for electrolysis, of you know if you want to, produce hydrogen from electrolysis. Then only you need water actually so here i think maybe. The water uses will be minimal. Um. You've sort of touched on this but i'll ask it can energy crops be considered, as, eligible, by a mass feedstock. Yeah again from our selection, process, it'll be about how does it fit within the farming, system. So. You know we're looking at whole farm productivity, and whole farm profitability. If, if the crop you know energy crop can be sown or can be grown, in a way that fits into that farming system, that's part of what we'll consider. Rmit. Recently measured nitrogen, content, in straw, for biogas, production. And there is very little nitrogen, content proportional, to carbon due to nitrification. What incentivizes. People to prioritize. Nitrogen, over carbon credits. I have to take that on notice but i do actually think that's that's coming to the issue of feasibility, of pollution, as opposed to, why you'd go ahead and actually, um, what we'll consider as far as selection, criteria, here so, so again. Um thinking about economics, is something that you do when you have a prototypal. Or you've got a you know proposal, or a proposition, to actually, test. Okay. Will power. Pyrolysis. With the pri will the prior pyrolysis, process, be considered. Yes, yeah definitely, i think probably the in the pyrolysis, i think basically, you can. Produce hydrogen. And and biochar. Both products so i think probably yes, both are useful for farming yeah. Yeah, i would just probably add a okay, paralysis, is, on the cards but, again, um with our technical, criteria, we do have the, the pressure, and temperature, parameters. Um so just trying to stay within those. Would help us, screen. Help us with our screening. So the paper bosch. Dominates, current processes, for hydrogen, to ammonia, however if a different method can be demonstrated, will it be considered. Well we are not. Here considering. Conversion, of hydrogen to ammonia, actually we are just considering, first product production of hydrogen, i think probably this feasibility, study. Is about production, of hydrogen, not hydrogen. To ammonia. Production. Yeah, but just uh sorry trinity just to keep it broad and i think we touched upon it um, before.

There Are other technologies. That. Can be used to digest, biomass. And i think one of the questions, earlier that came through, kind of touched upon that can you look at microbial. Solutions, and of course, you know we. We're not being prescriptive. To what technology. We can use. We do have some ideas of what technology. Would fit, on a farming system but, other technologies, do exist and we really want the best solution so we're not going to discount. Any solutions. They just need to take into account, the fit on the farming system. Could the hydrogen, be in the form of a syn gas. Uh that contains, some co or co2. That could be fed into the fed to the ammonia, plant. Um, i think probably. Justin has presented, already there are certain specifications. You know of hydrogen, what we need actually for. Ammonia, production, and for. Using hydrogen, as a source of power as well so i think probably we have to, look at those specifications. I think probably, the. Production, of hydrogen has to. To be within those specifications. Yeah. Has csiro. Developed any technology, for converting, methane to hydrogen. Sorry just just before we move on trinity i actually do need to run to the next meeting with with our managing directors thank you so much for everyone's time today. I'm going to leave you in the capable hands of of rupe and, saab here to finish off, but again we'll look to come back to any of those questions that we've taken on notice thanks. Thanks dustin. Um thanks justin. We're almost i'm hitting the hour but thanks justin we're almost, at the hour so if people could um. Just uh send through their very last questions, and we'll just spend the next 10 minutes answering, them. Um. So answering, that question. About methane, to hydrogen, it's it's a well-known, process, you know it has been. There from, years and years you know it's it's a basically, reforming, process. It's a natural gas reform, or methane, reforming. To produce syn gas and then from syn gas you. Do your water gas shift reaction to produce hydrogen. Can we see a farming mass balance which rationalizes. This challenge. Um, yes we have to take that question or not actually probably there will be some some studies done already on that i think it should be in the literature. You have to look at. That. For ammonia, production, asu, is a very energy, intensive, unit so is it required, that the asu, is on site, or the nitrogen, can be transported, to the farm. So so air separation. Unit actually, compared, to hydrogen, production, actually air separation, units do not consume that much of energy.

So It's it's no more than five percent or so. So i think probably, yes air separation, unit can be on site and it can be, used you know, for the production, of ammonia. Yeah, and i think just touching on that in one of our slides, we did talk about, to keep the costs down we do want, um a distributed. System. On farm systems, so. It's it's best to keep everything together. As saab pointed out. Um, will gmos, be. Permitted. Uh. We'll have to take that on notice, but we don't. Uh grdc. Does not deal with gmos. So. I can't, see. The validity, of using gmos, given the gmos, aren't grown in australia. I would struggle with that. My answer, is we'll take that on notice but my initial response would be. No. Can we produce methane, from biogas. First. Then methane to hydrogen, would it be considered. Um, yes i think probably in the scheme of things you know i think yes we, i mean the the, aim is to produce hydrogen, whether you. Produce first bio gas and or methane, actually and then produce hydrogen, or you, convert, directly, your biomass. To. Something else and then hydrogen, i think probably. We can look at all the processes, yeah, all the proposed. Solutions. At which stage, does the applicant, work with your developed, ammonia, production, unit to establish, the correct chemical, and processing, engineering. Parameters, that the hydrogen, is required. I suppose, that will be, after the feasibility. Um, study has been done i suppose that's the, yeah. Yeah, uh, i think after the the initial. Feasibility. Is done after three months then, we'll work together, to, um. Create the, prototype, on farm prototype. And combine. All the features. At that stage. Can, you ask, can can grdc. Uh recommend, a farm site for feasibility. Concept, or does the applicant need to select, it on their. Own. We have, the grower networks. And. As justin said earlier we have had growth groups approaches, already. So we would be working with you to find the most appropriate. Site and of course given applications. Are coming, from all over australia. We don't expect you to find a farm, that's where, you know that's part of what we bring to the table so we will certainly help with that. Is there a desired, purity, required for the hydrogen. Um yes i think probably that was in the last, i think second last slide of justin, i think we are looking at um. Hydrogen, of high purity, and 99.9. Pure because i think probably in the. In the, ammonia, synthesis process, you know the the catalyst, use and the materials, used you know they, they can be affected, by the impurities, you know. Such as carbon monoxide. Or sulfur related compounds, or any, oxygen, related compounds such as co and co2. So yes we we need the. The purity of that hydrogen to certain level. Can you confirm the temperature, and pressure requirements. Values, required. Again please in regards to the system specs. Um. So. So hydrogen, temperature, is not a concern, but i think probably if hydrogen can be produced at a pressure so we are looking at about i think, 30 bar pressure at least minimum that will be good actually that, that helps, in the ammonia, sensitive process. Can we get access for simulation. Software. Rna, licenses. Like, aspen. Plus. I need to understand the question. A little more simulation, software. For what, i'm not familiar with the software so, i probably need to take it on note, notice. Simulation. Software, research and development, license, such as aspen, plus. Okay i'm not familiar with aspen plus so i can take that on notice and, if it's. Warranted. And it's. Would assist, then, it's something that we can look at but i can't comment on that at this stage. And someone said so, we can add, smr, process, for additional, methane, to hydrogen, to, overall production.

Um. Now i, this question is not clear actually steam, methane, reforming, smr, that is basically. And the process, to convert, your natural gas or methane, into hydrogen. And here we are looking at. Converting, biomass. Into. Into hydrogen, so it's, this biomass, gasification. You convert that first and produce your, carbon monoxide. And hydrogen, and then that carbon monoxide, and hydrogen, is further converted, into. Hydrogen, more hydrogen, and then co goes to co2 so i think probably. Um. The, the question, i. I couldn't understand the question there, both processes, are similar. What are the reasons for the very high hydrogen, purity. Requirements. So as i mentioned earlier you know the in the materials, we use and the catalyst we use you know that can be affected. Um. Badly, by by the impurities, present and that can reduce. The performance, of that. Catalyst. Would a crop residue, residue, to hydrogen, solution be considered, if it was a contributing, component. To a larger hydrogen, production, installation, that uses, other hydrogen, mechanic. Mechanisms, to underpin viable, scale. Ideally, this would increase the geographic, distribution, across the cropping regions. Again. Yeah you dropped out a little trinity. Um. I can read that again, would it would a crop, due to hydrogen, solution, be considered. If it were contributing. If it were a contributing, component, to a larger hydrogen, production, installation. That uses, other hydrogen, mechanisms, to underpin, viable scale. Other hydrogen, mechanisms. To underpin, viable scale well it depends on what the other hydrogen, mechanisms. Are. So my first. Um. Reaction, would be. We wouldn't disclose, it, but i would need more clarification. So perhaps, that person could reach out to me and explain. Um, after. My email so happy to. Provide more information, once i have more information. Is it higher merit for the applicant, to present, pathways, for dealing, with the waste, emissions. Pathways, for the waste emissions. Sorry. Pathways for dealing with the waste and emissions.

Yes Definitely, yeah i think probably the the, that's that's one of the criteria, you know that, the biomass. We are using and then producing, hydrogen. The process, should be able to take care of some of the other waste products which come. Out of that, that process, for example, if there are any, bio oils, or or. Is coming out you know can we, utilize, that in the process itself to generate. Heat for the process, itself so we, we minimize, the the waste actually, and, what goes back, into the into the soil i think probably we are looking at here. Biochar, i think that's the definitely. A product that we are looking for but if there are any other ways i think probably we should be able to take care of those, and if we are able to take care of any co2 emissions that will be also good. What if renewable, hydrogen, viral. Advanced, electrolyzer. Is cheaper than gasification. Of waste can we forget about waste. Um. Well i think probably. Electro, electrolysis, for electrolysis, you need electricity. And where the electricity is going to come from i think you need. Solar pv or wind generators, you know but here we are looking at. The biomass, which is already available, on the farm. Can we utilize, that to produce hydrogen, so i think we are not comparing, the two technologies, here you know what is viable, what is already. Available, on the farm itself, we would like to use that, rather than electricity, and we have to really, put them solar farms and wind generators, there right, on the farm itself. Id scaling, does it mean that the process needs to be a far at farm level solely or could it still be tailored to cluster of facilities. Well i think probably, we can we can look at a, a. I think we're looking at a distributed, scale but i think probably if we, if the process, is not economically, viable, we can also look. Look at you know the centralized. Kind of thing which can serve you know, a number of farms you know rather than just one farm so i think yeah, we have to still look at this the viability, of the whole process. If we think probably. By serving, hundreds, of farms it's more viable, yes we can look at that process but if we think probably it's. Um. Even if it serves only a few forms that's also viable, we can look at that as well. Yeah. Great thanks for your time, um, we're, time is up now so we're going to, um. There are a couple of additional, questions. Um. That, uh. We need to answer so we'll answer those as well as answering those that we've taken on notice, so. Um, keep an eye out um, further, and just put up our website. Your time everyone. Um if you'd like to know more information, or download the fact sheets please go to Dot u forward slash free you can rewatch this, video with transcript, on the website. Um and you'll also find the final answers. Stay safe and have a good day. Okay thank you. Thank, you.

2020-09-08 19:57

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