Gas pioneer Cottee follows Gates into low carbon hydrogen

Richard Cottee will follow the lead of Bill Gates in his bid to enter the hydrogen and carbon sequestration market.

Oct 05, 2021, updated Oct 05, 2021
State Gas executive chair Richard Cottee.

State Gas executive chair Richard Cottee.

Cottee, who has been credited for starting the coal seam gas boom in Queensland, said the company had found a potential “game-changer” in the production of low-emission hydrogen.

The junior gas company said it would investigate the project at its Rolleston West gas project in central Queensland.

It has signed a memorandum of understanding with Rockminingsolutions to look at the possibility of sequestering CO2 within the western area of its lease using a process that has worked at the Hellishedi power station in Iceland, which State Gas said had attracted high profile investors like Bill Gates.

Under that process the CO2 was dissolved in water and pumped into a suitable rock formation. Ultimately, it transformed into calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate.

“In its trials in Iceland, this process has resulted in more than 95 per cent of carbon mineralising underground within two years,” State Gas said.

If the project works the two companies expect to also manufacture hydrogen from gas, which could be sourced from State Gas’s projects and have the CO2 stored underground “creating a safe and sustainable low emission hydrogen”.

Under current processes, using fossil fuels to create hydrogen is a much cheaper alternative to using water, but its downside is the CO2 emissions. The carbon capture storage process has attracted criticism and scepticism.

“While State Gas remains focussed on development of its Reid’s Dome and Rolleston-West gas projects, the carbon mineralisation approach has the potential to be a game-changer in the production of low emission gas,” Cottee said.

“State Gas is committed to reducing its carbon footprint while ensuring there are sufficient supplies of natural gas, and eventually hydrogen, to enable the transition to a lower carbon future.

“A combined gas and hydrogen portfolio would provide significant optionality for State Gas into the future.”






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