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Green transition

Danish and Australian universities and companies join forces in new green hydrogen partnership

Green hydrogen is an indispensable part of the green transition, but it is also a completely new industry that needs to be established in record time. With support from the Innovation Fund, the University of Southern Denmark and Energy Cluster Denmark have now made a partnership with Australian universities and hydrogen companies.

By Sebastian Wittrock, , 1/9/2024

- We are busy


Those are the words from Niels Rytter, Associate Professor and Head of SDU Engineering Operations Management at the University of Southern Denmark, when talking about the the development of green hydrogen.


Green hydrogen is crucial in the green transition and will, among other things, make ship and air traffic and heavy industry sustainable. But we are in a hurry to develop the production facilities and value chains.


Therefore, Niels Rytter and his colleagues from SDU's campuses in Odense and Sønderborg have initiated a new partnership between the University of Southern Denmark, Energy Cluster Denmark, Adelaide University, Flinders University, and the South Australian Hydrogen Cluster.


The idea is that researchers and companies from two of the world's leading countries in renewable energy and green hydrogen – Denmark and Australia – should share knowledge and experiences, learn from each other, and eventually initiate concrete research and innovation projects together.


There is great potential in this, says Niels Rytter.


- One must remember that this is an entirely new industry, and it needs to be established very quickly if it is to meet the politically agreed goals, he says.


- None of the value chains exist right now, so we need to figure out how to put it together effectively – from getting the green electricity from wind turbines and solar cells, perhaps also from nuclear power, through the production and storage of green hydrogen and fuels to the transportation to those who need it.


Digital simulations

Green hydrogen can be used as a fuel in its pure form, but it can also be combined with carbon to create green methanol, or with nitrogen to make ammonia. Green methanol can especially be used as fuel in shipping, while green ammonia can be used as fertilizer in agriculture.


And all of these processes also need to be considered in the production, explains Niels Rytter. The researchers plan to do this using digital twins.


- We are working on developing digital simulation models that can predict the flow of electricity from sun and wind and what the prices will be, and then simulate and optimize production flows for factories and value chains with the aim of minimizing production costs and risks, while ensuring quality and delivery capacity in relation to customer and regulatory requirements, says Niels Rytter.


- All this needs to be known before just starting to build a lot of factories, acquiring electrolysis and catalysis equipment, buying tankers, and so on. Should we install two, three, or four plants? What type should they be, when and how much should they produce, what do we do with the excess heat, can it contribute locally, etc.?


Initially, the partnership with the Australian universities and companies consists of mutual study trips and networking meetings, and a joint summer school for students. Activities are conducted both in Denmark and Australia.


It is supported with 783,000 Danish Kroner by the Innovation Fund Denmark’s program for global innovation networks.

Editing was completed: 09.01.2024