Fortescue Future Industries has acquired a $1.8 million strategic stake in Sparc Hydrogen, a company based in Adelaide that has access to novel green hydrogen technology developed by the University of Adelaide and Flinders University.
Sparc Hydrogen is working to commercialize thermo-photocatalysis (TP), a green hydrogen technology developed by a team led by University of Adelaide chemistry professor Greg Metha.
Only water and sunlight are required for TP to produce hydrogen. The process has the potential to significantly reduce hydrogen production’s capital and operating costs by avoiding the high electricity demands of electrolysis, the most common hydrogen manufacturing method.
Sparc Hydrogen, a joint venture between Sparc Technologies and the University of Adelaide, was purchased by Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) for a 20% stake (UoA). It has the option to buy another 16 percent for $1.5 million over the next 4.5 years.
The technology is hoped to be used at the point of use of hydrogen, reducing the need for long-distance hydrogen transport or electricity transmission.
This announcement follows Fortescue’s recent acquisition of Williams Advanced Engineering, a UK-based electrification pioneer, to help them meet their goal of becoming carbon neutral in their operations and electricity purchases by 2030.