T. David Waite,1* Emma Black,1 Christopher J. Miller1and Andrew Feitz2
1School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
2Geoscience Australia, Low Carbon Geoscience and Advice, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
Natural (geogenic) hydrogen has gained increasing interest as a possible new “carbon-free” energy source. A recognised hydrogen production pathway in subsurface environments involves a variety of water-rock interactions, with oxidation of reduced iron minerals one of the most important. Of the various iron-mediated pathways, the hydrolysis of magnesium and iron rich (ultramafic) minerals such as olivine to serpentine, brucite, magnetite and H2 is considered particularly important. Evidence for this pathway will be examined in this presentation with discussion of results from both field and laboratory investigations. Funding to further explore this process has been provided by the Australian Research Council and an overview of ARC project plans (and needs) will be presented.