Hazer Group (ASX: HZR) has uncovered another potential commercialisation path for its proprietary Hazer process after successfully producing graphite and hydrogen at pilot plant scale.
The unpurified graphite and hydrogen were created in a rotary tub reactor at an average rate of 7.5kg per day.
According to Hazer Group, this rate is the highest daily production achieved to date using the company’s proprietary process with an existing “off-the-shelf reactor configuration”.
The company claims it now offers an alternative scale-up option to fast-track the development of a commercial-sized plant.
“This proof of concept demonstration using an alternate reactor demonstrates the flexibility of our technology,” Hazer Group acting chief executive officer Mark Edwards said.
“The very positive outcomes enhance and diversify Hazer Group’s technology application portfolio and provide increased optionality to support the development of different business case opportunities that target specific process integration scenarios,” Mr Edwards noted.
Multiple trials in various conditions were carried out using the rotatory tub reactor system with progressive enhancements in capacity, yield and graphite quality made with each new trial.
Hazer Group noted it had already identified further opportunities to hone the system.
The graphite produced was 84% purity, with the company claiming the result was “extremely encouraging”. Hazer Group has previously demonstrated its ability to generate a 99.95% pure graphite using an 86% raw material.
Moving forward, Hazer Group plans to assess this new method against its pre-pilot plant fluidised bed reactor technology, as well as the pilot plant reactor process.
Once the three systems have been evaluated, Hazer Group stated it will consider further development of the rotary tub reactor technology.
Hazer Group’s synthetic graphite is made from iron, copper, aluminium and magnesium.
The company claims its Hazer process is a “low-emission” method that converts natural gas and feedstocks into hydrogen and graphite using iron ore as the catalyst.
Hazer Group has been collaborating with the University of Sydney by testing its 99.95% synthetic graphite’s performance in lithium-ion batteries.
The company estimates the synthetic graphite market is valued at US$15 billion.