IT'S an invention that could revolutionise renewable energy and lead to a billion-dollar boom industry - and it's being developed by a Tamworth businessman.
Llewellyn Owens' company H2Store has worked out how to cheaply and easily transport hydrogen gas - a feat previously thought to be impossible.
His company has partnered with University of NSW, who have discovered how to mobilised the renewable energy source, which will allow people to use hydrogen for everything from cooling and heating their home to powering their electric car.
It's a secret that took Mr Owens' business partner, UNSW Professor Kondo-Francois Aguey-Zinsou, more than a decade to crack, but it'll be worth the wait.
It's been predicted the Australian hydrogen industry could be worth $1.7 billion annually by 2030.
"Japan and South Korea have flagged that they intend to move their energy industry to hydrogen," Mr Owens said.
"Toyota, Honda and Hyundai are the big drivers, they're progressing with hydrogen fuel cell cars. Rather than the Tesla model of a battery, you would fill up your tank with hydrogen."
Mr Owens said despite the demand for hydrogen, transportation of the gas was a huge barrier to its use.
"The biggest challenge with hydrogen is it is very low density, and it needs big storage tanks, which makes transporting it not viable," he said.
"We've made a metal that absorbs the hydrogen and then releases it, which makes it very easy to transport.
"We've known that you can transport hydrogen this way for a while, but the metal had to be heated up to 300 to 400 degrees for the hydrogen to be released. This one basically operates entirely at room temperature."
The idea has already attracted serious investment, with another company investing $3.5 million in to H2Store to continue developing the project.
"As the hydrogen technology develops, we will see a new cost-effective alternative to chemical batteries, remote electricity generation, household heating and increased range of hydrogen vehicles," Mr Owens said.
"Over the next two years we will develop a range of storage options for individuals, households and energy providers, including a solar farm battery system to provide grid stability across Australia."