Supercritical has been selected as a finalist in OZ Minerals’ Hydrogen Hypothesis Challenge. It is a clear demonstration that Supercritical’s technology is not limited by geographical restrictions, even at this early stage. Innovation and collaboration to deliver low cost decarbonising solutions knows no borders, and the team at Supercritical is using their many years of international experience to seek the opportunities that can make the biggest difference.
The winner(s) of the challenge will have an experiment funded by OZ Minerals and will work with OZ Minerals’ internal experts and ecosystem to accelerate the testing and development of the technology in the sector.
The Hydrogen Hypothesis challenge is a Think & Act Differently™ initiative powered by OZ Minerals. OZ Minerals has a strategic aspiration to eliminate Scope 1 emissions and strive to systematically reduce Scope 2 and 3 emissions across the value chain.
The use of hydrogen as a green, low carbon energy source is one of the most widely explored subjects on the planet today. In their journey towards zero carbon emissions, OZ Minerals set this competition to better understand hydrogen’s potential applications.
This challenge invited innovators from inside and outside the mining industry, across the globe to propose safe experiments to demonstrate the role hydrogen could play in the mining value chain and help progress a transition to low carbon emission operations. It was open to companies, teams and individuals from any industry including mining, energy, aerospace, transportation, and others with mature or early-stage hydrogen technologies and concepts that can be applied to mining.
Supercritical’s technology was selected for its low cost, high pressure hydrogen production technology. Considering the remote location of the majority of mines, the environment can often be well suited to electrification with renewables. However, to enable 24/7 operations, and to fuel high heat applications and heavy duty vehicles, direct connection to renewables is insufficient. Hydrogen, produced efficiently, can provide a valuable zero carbon buffer and fuel source for these hard to decarbonise assets.
The high efficiency paired with a high pressure delivery of 230 bar peaked interest within the judging panel. The potential for further operational cost reductions with heat integration also triggered some thinking about potential future technology pairings which could offer OZ Minerals a competitive advantage.
The competition considered a huge range of hydrogen technologies from production to storage to utilisation. The blue sky thinking approach to innovation could help OZ Minerals completely re-imagine what their facilities could look like in a world beyond fossil fuels. It is also bringing together innovators from across the world to learn more about each other’s technologies and consider collaborating to improve the system value proposition.
The finalists will now go through a four week convergence process, where initial hypotheses will be refined before finally pitching to the OZ Minerals funding committee.
Supercritical is developing the world’s first high pressure, ultra-efficient electrolyser, for the production of hydrogen and oxygen from water, with zero emissions. By using heat and pressure Supercritical's proprietary design allows them to exploit the benefits of supercritical water and deliver gases at over 200 bar of pressure, without the expense or challenges of hydrogen compressors. With this, Supercritical will deliver the lowest cost of pressurised green hydrogen.