- 18 August 2022
- Posted by: Canberra Innovation Network
- Categories: Feature, GRIFFIN Accelerator, Startup Stories & Profiles
The GRIFFIN Accelerator is a three-month intensive program that gets startups moving fast and achieving sustainable business success. This year we have welcomed seven startups to participate, including Hyrdogen Renewable Energy Australia (HYREA). Meet Vladen Shvedov, Andrey Turenko and Ilya Shadrivov who are the brains behind HYREA.
Can you tell us a bit about your company. When and why was it founded?
HYREA was founded in late 2021.
We saw that key obstacles preventing hydrogen from becoming a mainstream energy source relate to its storage and transportation. Hydrogen has low volumetric energy density, meaning the density of the stored hydrogen is significantly less than the density of ordinary fossil fuels. A 40-ton truck can deliver 26 tons of liquefied petrol gas. The same truck can deliver just 360 kg of compressed hydrogen, which is 72 times less by mass than ordinary gas. This factors make transporting and storing hydrogen a challenge. Current solutions of cooling, compressing or binding hydrogen to ammonia, are energy-demanding, expensive, require specialised infrastructure and pose environmental risk. The aim of our company is to remove the need for transporting and storing hydrogen in gaseous form, and to achieve a much larger energy density stored in our source materials.
What products and services do you provide?
We are able to extract green hydrogen on-site and on-demand, sidestepping all transportation and storage challenges typically associated with hydrogen. Using laser technology, we create a reaction between water and certain solid input materials – which we are calling Solid Hydrogen Cells (SHC). Specifically, we use a laser to stimulate the surface of the SHC, generating a substitution reaction between water and the material – a by-product of this reaction is a controlled release of pure hydrogen.
What about the brains behind the scenes? Tell us about the skillset and dynamics of your team.
We have complementary skills in our team. Vladlen is a laser physicist with over 20 years of experience in research and development. Andrey comes from corporate and tax background, currently working as a senior economic adviser within Australian Government. Ilya is a material scientist with also 20 years of experience, and his daytime job is physics professor at the Australian National University.
What great shift/change would you like to see in your industry?
The hydrogen production industry is at an early stage, and due to substantial interest from governments and investors, it is quite a turbulent stage! There is a strong drive to switch a large number of technologies towards using hydrogen fuel, and a large number of problems are now being solved. Because the industry is still young, at times it is hard to see pathways where hydrogen can be utilised. Greater disclosure by the private industry of their current and potential hydrogen needs would be very useful.
What are you most proud of so far?
We came up with a solution to an existing problem, using methods pioneered more than 100 years ago. We infested these old approaches with modern technology, making them practical for modern day use.
Why do you think Canberra is a great place to do business?
Supportive start up community, strong pool of industry experience that is ready to engage, access to world leading academic institutions
What are you most looking forward to in the GRIFFIN Accelerator?
Finding connections with businesses and people. Being in a group of people at a similar stage of business development, we hope to boost our motivation further. And the main thing is the advice from the GRIFFIN team and mentors.
Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us about HYREA, we can’t wait to see you progress through the program!