Geoff Pocock

Geoff Pocock is managing director of Hazer Group, a Perth-based company, spun out of the University of Western Australia, which plans to halve the cost of hydrogen production, using a near-zero emissions patented process, based on “methane cracking”.  The chemical process uses “cheap as dirt” iron ore to convert methane in natural gas into hydrogen, with the other valuable by-product capturing the carbon content of the gas in the form of high-quality graphite.

The ASX-listed company raised A$5m at its initial public offering in September 2015.

When hydrogen is combusted to generate heat, or used in fuel cells to generate electricity, the only byproduct is water. As a result, it has long been heralded as a low-carbon energy carrier, which could replace gasoline as a transport fuel, powering electric vehicles, or natural gas as fuel to heat buildings.

Graphite is used in the production of lithium-ion batteries, and while prices vary depending on the quality, Pocock says it averages at about US$1,000 per tonne. Globally, the graphite market is worth around US$13bn annually.

Photo: Geoff Pocock (right) and CTO Dr Andrew Cornejo with Hazer Group's hydrogen technology. 

Further reading:

The Guardian: Cheap and clean: Australian company creates hydrogen with near-zero emissions

Go Auto News: Oz fuel cell breakthrough - WA process turns natural gas and iron ore into cheap hydrogen and graphite for EV batteries