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E-fuels start-up raises $12m

A Massachusetts-based e-fuels start-up has raised $12m to build a SAF pilot plant using its high-temperature electric reactor.

Lydian, a startup aiming to produce sustainable, CO2-derived fuels and chemicals, has raised $12m in new seed funding co-led by Congruent Ventures and Galvanize Climate Solutions, according to a news release.

Participating investors included Grok Ventures, Voyager Ventures, Union Square Ventures (USV), Overture VC, and Overlap Holdings.

This funding adds to $3m in previously unannounced funding in June 2022 from Congruent, USV, Voyager, and Global Founders Capital. The company plans to use the new funding to build an integrated pilot plant in 2024 which will be capable of producing over 5,000 gallons of SAF per year. Lydian is already producing small quantities of e-fuel in its Cambridge-based lab.

Lydian’s proprietary, high-temperature electric reactor enables the production of the world’s lowest cost e-fuels, a category of drop-in alternatives to transportation fuels made from captured CO2 and renewable electricity. Lydian also aims to produce carbon-negative versions of many other industrial chemicals.

Demand for sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) has surged in recent years as airlines push to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and new regulations seek to mandate increasing use of SAF across the aviation industry. E-fuels are expected to be an important piece of the puzzle, with some experts estimating that they could contribute as much as 60% of final energy demand for aviation by 2050. But e-fuels are currently very expensive, largely as a result of their significant energy requirements.

“We are pulling the energy efficiency lever,” said Joe Rodden, Lydian’s CEO. “We believe fuels produced with our technology will consume less energy per gallon than any other e-fuel.”

Lydian’s technology can achieve a total energy consumption approaching 2 kWh per kilogram for the reduction of CO2, a key step in the process, which the company says will be 30% to 50% lower than competing technologies like CO2 electrolysis. At the scale projected for e-fuels, this could represent a total annual energy savings of more than 200 TWh (terawatt-hours), equivalent to the electricity consumption of over 20 million households.

Lydian has also demonstrated a version of its technology that can use alternative hydrogen sources like biomethane, which could further reduce energy consumption relative to water electrolysis.

“Lydian is the best-positioned technology we have come across in this space,” said Joshua Posamentier, co-founder and managing partner, Congruent Ventures. “Joe, Branko and the team have made incredible progress over the past 12 months to help drive e-fuels to market in a massive way.”

“The development of sustainable aviation fuels is critical to decarbonizing aviation in-line with climate targets,” said Cliff Ryan, co-head of Innovation + Expansion at Galvanize Climate Solutions. “Lydian, with its differentiated e-fuel technology and extremely effective team, which we have been fortunate to get to know over multiple years, represents an exciting solution in various hard-to-abate sectors over time.”

“We’re lucky to have an amazing team of scientists and engineers who are setting a rapid pace of development,” said Branko Zugic, Lydian’s CTO. “We look forward to tapping into the deep talent pool in the greater Boston area as we continue to grow the team with this capital.”

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Technip and Casale to jointly offer blue hydrogen technology

The companies will offer a process design package, equipment, and entire plants using oxidative reforming, autothermal reforming, and partial oxidation technologies.

Technip Energies (PARIS: TE) and Casale announce a new partnership to jointly license oxidative reforming-based technologies; autothermal reforming (ATR) and partial oxidation (POx) technologies for the blue hydrogen market, according to a news release.

ATR is a process to produce syngas that contains hydrogen, CO and CO2. It becomes cost-effective for low-carbon hydrogen when combined with carbon capture technology and suitable for larger-scale facilities.

As part of this collaboration, Technip Energies and Casale will be co-licensors of the technology and will offer Process Design Package (PDP), proprietary equipment and entire plants. In order to decarbonize hydrogen facilities, the ATR-based solution could achieve up to 99% of carbon capture rate.

Technip Energies’ two centers of excellence for hydrogen, Claremont CA, US and Zoetermeer, NL, will jointly execute with Casale PDP for ATR-based blue hydrogen projects.

Loic Chapuis, SVP gas & low carbon energies of Technip Energies, commented: “We are excited to announce this partnership with Casale, which will allow us to offer cutting-edge ATR-based solutions for the blue hydrogen market. By leveraging our global leadership in hydrogen, having delivered more than 30% of the installed capacity worldwide, with our combined proprietary technologies, we are confident that we can provide advanced and cost-effective solutions that will meet the needs of our customers. ATR-based solutions will be complementary to T.EN’s proprietary SMR-based solutions, allowing us to offer a complete range of solutions in the low-carbon hydrogen market. We look forward to working with Casale to drive innovation and decarbonize hydrogen production at scale.”

Federico Zardi, CEO of Casale SA, said: “We are delighted to enter this partnership with Technip Energies, a global leader in hydrogen plants. This partnership can provide the market with advanced solutions for the decarbonization of the world, leveraging our long history of developing and applying advanced ATR and POx technologies with several ATR-based mega production units already delivered, in combination with Technip Energies’ technological expertise in the hydrogen field.”

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Cemvita appoints CFO

Houston-based Cemvita has appointed Lisa Bromiley as its new CFO.

Cemvita, a carbon utilization company, has appointed Lisa Bromiley as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

In her new role, Bromiley will spearhead capital markets, strategic positioning, and financial management of the company, bringing with her over two decades of invaluable experience in energy and commodity-related finance.

Prior to joining Cemvita, Bromiley played pivotal roles as CFO and Public Company Director. Particularly, she played a key role in the development of Flotek Industries, Inc. Mrs. Bromiley also steered Northern Oil and Gas, Inc., achieving a market capitalization of $4bn.

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EU-backed Neev Fund invests in India-based hydrogen developer

Green hydrogen developer Hygenco aims to deploy over $300m in green hydrogen projects across India in the next three years.

Hygenco Green Energies Pvt. Ltd (Hygenco), a green hydrogen developer, has received a GBP 22m investment from the Neev II Fund, a climate and sustainability focused fund backed by the UK and EU governments, according to a news release.

The investment will enable Hygenco to commercialize its early pipeline, as it aims to deploy over $300m in green hydrogen projects across India in the next three years.

Hygenco, which deploys scaled-up commercially attractive green hydrogen solutions, will build-own-operate multiple green hydrogen facilities across the country. Founded by professionals having decades of experience in renewable energy, project development and consulting, the investment by Neev will give an impetus to large-scale Green Hydrogen deployment in India.

Neev II Fund along with its predecessor Neev I Fund are managed by SBICAP Ventures, which has backing from the UK government through the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). It is also backed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Neev I Fund, launched in 2015, has invested into 10 companies in diverse clean energy, Agri supply chain and social infrastructure sectors. Neev II Fund is the successor fund launched in June 2021 that seeks to provide growth and expansion capital to companies offering solutions for clean energy, electric vehicles, efficient use of raw materials, and water and circular economy projects in the country.

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NanoScent seeking new investor to complete blended funding round

NanoScent is seeking a new investor to satisfy the contingencies of a combined EUR 8m investment from existing investors and the European Innovation Council.

NanoScent, an Israel-based technology firm, is seeking a new investor to help solidify an equity investment from the European Innovation Council, CEO Oren Gavriely said in an interview.

To satisfy the contingencies of a combined EUR 8m investment from existing investors and the EIC, NanoScent must bring on a new investor at EUR 2m, Gavriely said.

The ideal investor will have complementary capabilities that can ramp up the revenue stream, Gavriely added. Producers and suppliers of gasses and chemicals for industrial use would make sense.

The money will be used to further develop the proprietary VOCID Purity in-line sensor controller, which measures hydrogen quality by monitoring the cleanliness of gas lines. The technology is oriented towards producers and end-users like fuel cell stations, who will be responsible for the integrity of the hydrogen. The product will be rolled out at the end of 1Q23.

Gavriely said the company has several customers for the technology in the pipeline, declining to say who they are.

NanoScent, founded five years ago, has raised USD 10m in equity to date, with another USD 10m in non-dilutive funding. The company’s largest outside investor is Sumitomo Chemical, which trades on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Control of the company is maintained by the founders, Gavriely said.

NanoScent has 20 employees, Gavriely said. So far the company has relied on the expertise of its board, which includes one former investment banker, for financial advisory services. That could change in the future as the company grows.

NanoScent uses Pearl Cohen for law services and EY for accounting.

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Exclusive: Liquid hydrogen at room temp: Tech firm raising money to scale

A provider of liquid organic hydrogen carrier technology is finishing a second seed round with designs on a Series A next year. The technology allows hydrogen to be transported as a liquid at room temperature.

Ayrton Energy, the Calgary-based provider of liquid organic hydrogen carrier storage technology, is preparing to launching a second seed round and plans a $30m Series A next year, CEO Natasha Kostenuk told ReSource.

Ayrton, with 10 employees, allows hydrogen to be transported as a liquid at room temperature, Kostenuk said. The liquid can also be transported in existing infrastructure while mitigating pipeline corrosion.

The company’s target customers are hydrogen producers, utilities and hub-and-spoke logistical servicers.

To date Ayrton has raised $5m from venture capital and a similar amount will come from the next seed round, Kostenuk said. A 30 kg per day pilot project with a gas utility in Canada is underway and Ayrton will look to 10x that next year, she said, with eyes on 3 metric tonnes per day commercialization.

“It scales like electrolyzers,” she said of the technology. “We can get very large, very easily.”

Ayrton is now engaging investors and potential advisors, Kostenuk said. “It would be good to engage with us now.”

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Midwestern SAF developer in capital raise

A municipal solid waste solutions firm based in the midwestern US is undergoing a $30m capital raise ahead of its first SAF project with plans to launch another raise late this year or early next.

Illinois Clean Fuels, the municipal solid waste solutions firm in Deerfield, Illinois, has mandated two advisors to run a capital raise, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Chabina Energy Partners and Weild & Co. are assisting on the process, which the company plans to have finished by October, the sources said.

The equity will be put toward six recovery facilities to supply feedstock for an unannounced project located in the Chicagoland region, one of the sources said. Following two years or so of engineering and permitting, that project should enter construction.

In December or early 1Q24 ICF plans to launch another equity raise for development capital.

ICF, Chabina and Weild & Co. declined to comment.

Illinois Clean Fuels has a synthetic fuel plant under development that will convert municipal solid waste into sustainable aviation fuel in combination with carbon capture and storage, according to its website.

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