The Hydrogen Stream: Electrolysis tech that can produce hydrogen from virtually any water source including salt water


Swiss hydrogen solutions company EBH2 Systems and Quebec-based silicon solutions company HPQ Silicon Resources expect third-party validation of the EBH2 technology within 60 days. EBH2’s proprietary low-cost electrolysis technology can produce green hydrogen “from virtually any water source including salt water.” The companies reported that a first step was taken by the signing of a perpetual worldwide license granted by EBH2 to HPQ to sell products where EBH2 Green Hydrogen Reactors (EBH2 GHR) are incorporated into HPQ Technologies. “We are getting closer to the point where EBH2 technology will be validated and HPQ will be incredibly well positioned to make green silicon materials all the while opening up new, and massive addressable markets for a system that can produce cheaply green hydrogen, on demand,” Bernard Tourillon, president and CEO of HPQ Silicon, said on Wednesday. The aim is to produce green hydrogen for $1 per kilogram.

Italian gas transmission operator Snam and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) signed a partnership agreement aimed at developing green hydrogen globally. “Snam will contribute by leveraging on its expertise and best practices in transporting energy across its over 40,000 km of pipelines as well as on its role as a member of the Green Hydrogen Catapult initiative, aimed at accelerating the scale of green hydrogen 50-fold in the next five years,” Marco Alverà, CEO of Snam, commented on Wednesday. Snam also signed an MoU with Italy's Iris Ceramica Group for an industrial project involving the study and development of the “world’s first ceramics factory powered by green hydrogen.” A 2.5 MW PV plant will be installed on the roof of Iris Ceramica’s new factory. It will be combined with an electrolyzer and a storage system for the renewable hydrogen that will be produced on site. The new Iris Ceramica Group production site in Castellarano is scheduled to be completed by 2022.

Missouri-based engineering company Emerson and New Mexico-headquartered chemical reactor company BayoTech announced on Thursday a multi-year framework agreement to accelerate the production and distribution of hydrogen. “Emerson will deliver advanced automation technologies, software and products to enable BayoTech to build hundreds of hydrogen units to produce cleaner, lower-cost hydrogen,” reads the press release. BayoTech’s modular hydrogen generation units reportedly produce up to 1,000 kilograms per day. “Emerson’s advanced technology is the right choice to support our vision of disrupting the established centralized hydrogen supply chain with a new, highly efficient model of local autonomous production hubs,” commented BayoTech CEO Mo Vargas.

Arizona-based zero-emission vehicle company Nikola and New York's Opal Fuels, which focuses on renewable fueling infrastructure for heavy-duty truck fleets, entered into a memorandum of understanding on the development, construction, and operation of hydrogen fueling stations in North America and the use of renewable natural gas (RNG) in hydrogen production. “Under this strategic engagement, Nikola and Opal Fuels intend to co-develop and co-market hydrogen refueling infrastructure to accelerate the adoption of heavy-duty zero-emission fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEV),” the companies wrote on Thursday.

French automotive supplier Plastic Omnium and French train manufacturer Alstom signed a memorandum of understanding to develop high-end hydrogen storage systems for the railway sector. “A dedicated team has been set up to manage the technical and commercial development of innovative and competitive hydrogen onboard storage solutions for the railway market,” Alstom stated. The two partners want to launch hydrogen storage solutions for regional trains in France and Italy starting in 2022. “The planned combination of Plastic Omnium’s expertise in hydrogen storage solutions and our expertise in hydrogen trains is in this regard an important milestone to build an innovative and strong hydro rail value chain,” commented Thierry Best, Alstom's chief commercial officer.

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Ardian, a French private investment house, and FiveT Hydrogen, a clean-hydrogen enabling investment platform, announced a partnership to create Hy24, an equally owned joint venture. “Hy24 will become the world’s largest investment platform focused on clean hydrogen infrastructure, designed to invest in projects that are critical to global decarbonization,” Ardian wrote on Friday. French oil and gas company TotalEnergies, industrial gases company Air Liquide, and concessions and construction company Vinci pledged to invest €100 million each as anchor investors.“The fund aims to reach €1.5 billion and has already secured initial commitments of €800 million. Its objective is to accelerate the growth of the clean hydrogen ecosystem by investing in large strategic projects and leveraging the alliance of industrial and financial players,” TotalEnergies wrote on Friday. For now, the focus is on the Americas, Asia, and Europe. Lotte Chemical, AXA, Groupe ADP, Ballard, EDF, and Schaeffler also intend to join the initiative. “Subject to Hy24’s French Market Authority (AMF) accreditation as an Alternative Investment Fund Manager (AIFM), the platform will be operational in late 2021 and first closing is expected before the end of the year.”

A group of academics in the United Kingdom wrote to the government that hydrogen should not have an immediate impact on emissions or jobs, at least not within the next decade. According to the letter published in mid-September, the government should take a cautious approach to blue hydrogen, avoiding lock-in to unsustainable fossil fuel infrastructure that could push net-zero out of reach, while supporting the use of hydrogen in specific sectors, like steel, chemicals and shipping. “We are concerned that the UK government is considering widespread use of hydrogen in home heating, despite the availability of electric heat pumps that are more efficient and can already deploy at scale today, supporting thousands of jobs,” reads the letter by the experts, led by Cambridge University Professor David Cebon.


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