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French e-fuels developer takes investment from private equity pair

A French developer of low-carbon molecules has taken a convertible bond investment for its most advanced e-methanol and SAF projects in France and Spain.

Hy24 and Mirova are co-investing in Elyse Energy’s most advanced e-methanol projects in France and Spain, with industrial commissioning scheduled for 2027 and 2028.

Nomura Greentech acted as exclusive financial advisor to Elyse Energy. Legal advisors included CLP – Cliperton Avocats for Elyse Energy and Gide for Hy24 and Mirova, the companies said in a news release.

Hy24 is the hydrogen-focused wing of French private equity firm Ardian and Mirova is an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers. The firms have undertaken the equity investment through their respective funds – the Hy24 Clean Infrastructure Fund and the Mirova Energy Transition 5 fund.

The transaction was carried out through convertible bonds, and Mirova and Hy24 are not shareholders of Elyse Energy, a spokesperson said in response to follow-up questions.

Additional terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The money will allow Elyse Energy to recruit new employees and to continue development through feasibility studies, the industrialisation phase, and beyond. 

Elyse’s eM-Rhône project, awarded by the European Innovation Fund, is targeting production of 150,000 mtpy of green e-methanol annually for the maritime sector and industry. The BioTJet project in Pyrénées Atlantiques, France is in advanced stages with annual production set at 75,000 mtpy of e-biokerosene and 3,000 mtpy of naphtha..  

The company will deploy some 2.5 GW of installed capacity (1m mtpy) of e-methanol and 200,000 mtpy of SAF. The fuels will go to offtakers in aviation, maritime transport, and industrial processes in sectors such as chemicals.

Hy24 recently closed on a €1.5bn equity private placement in North America’s H2 Green Steel, together with existing investors Altor, GIC and Just Climate.

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GE and Shell partner on hydrogen fueling for gas turbines

The focus of the agreement is on hydrogen solutions for B&E class gas turbines used in LNG and power generation applications.

GE Gas Power and Shell Global Solutions have signed an agreement under which GE will develop use of 100% hydrogen as a fuel for gas turbines, according to a press release.

Focus will be on hydrogen solutions for B&E class gas turbines used in LNG and power generation applications.

“Shell’s Blue Hydrogen Process is a leading technology that can deliver the lowest carbon intensity fuel of its kind,” the release states.

GE’s B&E class heavy-duty gas turbines can already operate on 100% hydrogen, emitting up to 25ppm NOx with the use of water in diffusion combustors. As part of this development agreement GE is targeting gas turbine technology with the capability to operate on 100% hydrogen without the use of water while still maintaining NOx emissions.

The new DLN combustor technology is intended to support retrofittable system solutions for low-carbon operation of gas turbines. DLN combustors are efficient and do not use water as a diluent.

The developments to the DLN combustion technology could be installed on either new or existing 6B or 7E gas turbines. This would help reduce carbon emissions in industrial applications and LNG operations, particularly where water usage is challenging.

In extreme climates the B and E Class heavy-duty gas turbines provide power and perform in many duty cycles. These turbines can use more than 50 types of fuel, including hydrogen —and can switch fuels while running under full load.

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Raven SR brings in Chevron and Hyzon for California waste-to-hydrogen project

Chevron New Energies and Hyzon Motors are strategic investors in Raven SR, and have joined the Richmond, California project as owners and offtakers.

Raven SR, a renewable fuels company, Chevron New Energies, a division of Chevron U.S.A., a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation, and Hyzon Motors Inc. are collaborating to commercialize operations of a green waste-to-hydrogen production facility in Richmond intended to supply hydrogen fuel to transportation markets in Northern California.

The facility will be owned by a newly formed company, Raven SR S1 LLC (Raven SR S1). Raven SR will be the operator of the facility, which is targeted to come online in the first quarter of 2024. Chevron holds a 50% equity stake in Raven SR 1. Raven SR holds a 30% stake and Hyzon owns the remaining 20%.

To produce the hydrogen, the project is expected to divert up to 99 wet tons of green and food waste per day from Republic Services’ West Contra Costa Sanitary Landfill into its non-combustion Steam/CO2 Reforming process, producing up to 2,400 metric-tons per year of renewable hydrogen. Diversion of this organic waste will help fulfill California’s SB 1383 mandates, and will potentially avoid up to 7,200 metric-tons per year of CO2 emissions from the landfill. In addition, Raven’s technology uses no fresh water, an important element given drought risks in California, and uses less electricity to power its units than competing processes. The project is expected to produce at least 60% of its own electricity by upgrading the currently permitted and zoned landfill gas electric generators at the landfill, further reducing both the current air emissions and the need for grid power for its non-combustion process.

Chevron plans to market its share of the hydrogen in Bay Area and Northern California fueling stations, enabling the energy transition to zero emission vehicles. Hyzon, a global supplier of fuel cell electric commercial vehicles, plans to provide refueling for hydrogen fuel cell trucks at a hydrogen hub in Richmond.

“Our strategic partners’ commitment to the first non-combustion Steam/CO2 facility in the world will help drive our commercial operations in Richmond and accelerate similar facilities globally,” said Matt Murdock, CEO of Raven. “This facility will be the first hydrogen production plant in the world to reduce greenhouse gases, including critically important short-lived climate pollutants, through its process and its product. By removing waste from the landfill, it will help reduce methane emissions. Not only will the greater Richmond community benefit from reduced emissions, investments, and jobs, it will also see economic benefits as local gas stations have a consistent supply of clean, zero-carbon hydrogen fuel for fuel cell vehicles. We are grateful to work with partners who share our mission to make cleaner fuel options available as soon as possible.”

Ahead of teaming with Raven SR on the Raven SR S1 facility, Chevron and Hyzon were among Raven SR’s initial strategic investors, along with ITOCHU, Ascent Hydrogen Fund and Samsung Ventures.

“We are excited about this collaboration and our expanded commitment to Raven and its waste-to-hydrogen technology,” said Austin Knight, vice president of Hydrogen for Chevron New Energies. “Not only are we positioned to commercialize a first-of-its-kind lower carbon hydrogen project, we are working to reduce emissions in a community in which we have a long and proud history. With a relatively short lead time, we will be able to further develop the hydrogen ecosystem in the region.”

The Raven SR technology is a non-combustion thermal, chemical reductive process that converts organic waste and landfill gas to hydrogen and Fischer-Tropsch synthetic fuels. Unlike other hydrogen production technologies, its Steam/CO2 Reformation does not require fresh water as a feedstock and uses less than half the energy of electrolysis. The process is more efficient than conventional hydrogen production and can deliver fuel with low to negative carbon intensity. Additionally, Raven SR’s goal is to generate as much of its own power onsite as possible to reduce reliance on, and/or be independent of the grid. Its modular design provides a scalable means to locally produce renewable hydrogen and synthetic liquid fuels from local waste.

“The Richmond hub enables a local, renewable hydrogen ecosystem by aligning hydrogen production, refueling infrastructure and vehicle availability geographically and technologically. This alignment is expected to reduce total costs to fleet operators, accelerating the transition to zero-emissions vehicles and global decarbonization,” said Parker Meeks, Hyzon president and interim CEO.

“This marks a significant step in demonstrating the commercial viability of a localized, low-to-negative carbon intensity hydrogen economy,” he added. “Through Hyzon’s partnership with Raven, hydrogen supply can be synchronized with the demand for hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. Raven’s deployment of scalable hydrogen production facilities allows supply and demand to grow together as clean hydrogen for transport continues to gain market and regulatory support.”

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Exclusive: CarbonFree raising capital for U.S. Steel carbon utilization project

CarbonFree, an established carbon capture utilization firm, is raising capital for its $150m plant at U.S. Steel’s Gary, Indiana steelmaking facilities.

CarbonFree, an established carbon capture and utilization firm, is raising capital to build a $150m capture and utilization plant at U.S. Steel’s Gary Works Blast Furnaces.

The San Antonio-based firm already generates revenues from existing projects, and will use cash on hand as well as additional private investments to fund construction of the project, a spokesperson for the company said via email.

We are pursuing additional equity investments in CarbonFree, rather than project-specific financing,” the spokesperson said. “The process is ongoing.”

The company is working with a financial advisor on the capital raise, but the spokesperson declined to name the firm.

CarbonFree and U.S. Steel announced this week that they have finalized a definitive agreement to use CarbonFree’s SkyCycle technology to capture and mineralize up to 50,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. Construction is expected to begin as soon as this summer with operations expected by 2026.

The technology captures carbon emissions and converts them into a carbon-neutral calcium carbonate, used to make paper, plastics, and other products.

CarbonFree CEO Martin Keighley said in previous interviews that the objective of the CCU operation is that “it can be zero capital and zero OpEx for the emitter, because, in its own right, it is a profitable operation.”

The spokesperson estimated the addressable market for the calcium carbonate it produces to be $40bn, and added that CarbonFree was actively seeking new partners in that market.

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It’s an electrolyzer – but for CO2

A New Jersey-based start-up is seeking to commercialize an electrocatalytic technology that transforms CO2 into a monomer for the plastics industry.

RenewCO2 is developing and seeking to commercialize a modular technology that converts waste CO2 into a usable product.

The New Jersey-based company is advancing a pilot project at an Ace Ethanol plant in Wisconsin that will take CO2 and convert it to monoethylene glycol, which can be used by the plastics industry.

The project was recently selected by the US DOE to receive a $500,000 grant. It seeks to demonstrate the technology’s ability to reduce the ethanol plant’s carbon footprint and produce a carbon-negative chemical.

In an interview, RenewCO2 co-founders Anders Laursen and Karin Calvinho said their technology, which was developed at Rutgers University, is geared toward carbon emitters who can not easily pipe away their CO2 and who may have use for the resulting product.


“It’s a matter of economics,” said Calvinho, who serves as the company’s CTO. Using the RenewCO2 technology, the ethanol plant or other user is able to keep 45Q tax incentives for capturing CO2 while also creating a product that generates an additional revenue stream.

Additionally, the modular design of the technology prevents emitters from having to build expensive pipeline infrastructure for CO2, she added. “We want to help to facilitate the use of the CO2 on site,” she said.

One of the goals of the project is to measure the carbon intensity of these technologies in combination, which ultimately depends on the electricity source for the electrochemical process, similar to an electrolyzer, Laursen, who is the CEO, said.

“The main constraint from a location point of view is the availability of reliable and affordable green power,” Laursen added.

Creating a market

The principal target market for RenewCO2’s technology is existing producers of monoethylene glycol (MEG), which is used to make recycled plastics, as well as ethanol producers and other emitters with purified CO2 streams.

Producers of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) – one of the most recycled plastics globally – are also potential customers since they use MEG in their production process and have CO2 sources on site.

“Right now, MEG produced in the US is, for the most part, not polymerized into PET – it’s shipped overseas for making PET plastics used in textiles, and then made into fibers or shipped further,” Laursen said. “So if you can shorten that transport chain, you can reduce the CO2 emissions associated with the final product.”

RenewCO2 is looking for partners to help build the modular units, and is evaluating the purchase of existing PEM electrolyzer units that can be reconfigured, or having the units custom manufactured.

“We’re talking to potential manufacturing partners and evaluating whether we should do the manufacturing ourselves,” Calvinho said. And if they choose the latter route, she added, “we will have to build our own facilities, but it’s early to say.”

The company has raised a total of $10m in venture investment and grant funding, including a pre-seed round of over $2m from Energy Transition Ventures, a Houston-based venture capital fund.

While not currently fundraising, Laursen said they are always taking calls to get to know the investors that are interested in the space. He added that the company may need to raise additional capital in 12 to 18 months.

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Exclusive: Methanol electrolyzer start-up gearing up for seed capital raise

An early-stage technology company seeking to commercialize an electrolyzer that produces methanol from CO2 at ambient temperature and pressure is preparing its first capital raise.

Oxylus Energy, a methanol technology and project development start-up, is preparing to kick off its first capital raise later this month.

The Yale-based firm is seeking to raise $4m in seed funding, with proceeds funding the advancement of a production-scale CO2-to-methanol electrolyzer cell and its first commercial agreements for offtake, CEO Perry Bakas said in an interview.

Oxylus aims to commercialize an electrolyzer that creates methanol from CO2 at room temperature and pressure, and also plans to develop and operate its own methanol production plants, he said.

The technology, which will scale to larger versions in coming years, recently hit a key milestone with the validation of a 5cm2 platform.

The seed capital raise would provide approximately 26 months of runway, according to Bakas. The company would then raise between $20 – $30m in a follow-on Series A in late 2026.

“What we’re gonna do with the Series A is put that first electrolyzer into the ground,” he said. “It’ll be our first revenue-producing methanol.”

Oxylus is currently owned by Bakas and his fellow co-founders. The company has been entirely grant funded to this point. DLA Piper is advising as the law firm on the seed capital raise.

“I think the most important thing about the technology is it’s the most energy-efficient pathway to making renewable methanol,” he said. “At the right energy prices, you’re below cost parity with fossil-derived methanol. When that happens, I think it’ll become a very interesting development scenario.”

Oxylus is focused on bringing the so-called green premium down to zero, Bakas said, noting that it requires achieving scale in electrolyzer production or partnering with established electrolyzer manufacturers.

Methanol for shipping

Oxylus will seek to introduce its technology into target markets that are already using methanol as a feedstock, like high-value petrochemicals. In the longer term, shipping and aviation are likely to become attractive markets. Taken together, the company believes methanol has the potential to decarbonize 11% of global emissions.

Methanol will compete with ammonia for primacy as a shipping fuel in the future, but Bakas believes methanol is the better option.

“These are massive markets – they need a lot of solutions, and quickly,” he said. “But ammonia is not energy dense, and it doesn’t integrate with existing infrastructure.”

The International Energy Agency recently projected that while ammonia will be cheaper to make, methanol is easier to handle, resulting in roughly similar cost profiles for e-methanol and green ammonia. The added cost for methanol production, the report found, is likely to come from a scarcity of biogenic CO2.

On that topic, Bakas acknowledged that the methanol pathway still requires combustion of carbon, but emphasized his technology’s ability to displace existing fossil fuel-based methanol production.

“The distinction we need to make is: are these virgin hydrocarbons or are they recycled hydrocarbons? If you’re just continuously pumping new CO2 out of the ground into the atmosphere, you’re gonna continue to cause climate change,” he said.

“The technologies that we are building in this suite of technologies that cover direct air capture, point source capture, carbon conversion, that whole CCUS world,” he added, “are really working to monitor and create a homeostasis in the atmospheric balance of CO2.”

Oxylus recently completed a lifecycle assessment of greenhouse gas emissions, Bakas said, finding that its fuels are expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 95% at optimal voltage compared to natural gas steam methane reforming.

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Exclusive: Verde Clean Fuels seeking project finance for gas refineries

Publicly listed Verde Clean Fuels plans to seek equity and debt investors for low-carbon gasoline refineries it expects to deploy across the US. We spoke to CEO Ernest Miller about the strategy.

Verde Clean Fuels, a publicly listed developer of clean fuels technology and projects, is planning to seek project debt and equity investors to finance a series of low-carbon gasoline refineries it expects to deploy across the US.

Houston-based Verde, which employs syngas-to-gasoline refining technology, recently announced an agreement with Diamondback Energy to construct a facility in the Permian Basin that will utilize stranded natural gas to produce 3,000 barrels per day of gasoline.

The company is also pursuing a carbon-negative gasoline project on the premises of California Resources’ Net Zero Industrial Park in Bakersfield, California. The California project will produce approximately 500 barrels of RBOB renewable gasoline per day from agricultural waste, while capturing and sequestering around 125,000 tons of CO2 per year.

Verde is capitalized following a private investment in public equity (PIPE) injection of $54m as part of a reverse merger last year, allowing the company to take the Bakersfield and West Texas projects through the FEED phase, CEO Ernest Miller said in an interview.

Underpinning Verde’s business model is the view that gasoline will persist as a transportation fuel for many years to come, and that very few parties are working to decarbonize the gasoline supply chain.

“Between renewable diesel, renewable natural gas, and sustainable aviation fuel, there is very little awareness that renewable gasoline is even a thing,” Miller said. “The addressable market is enormous, and the impact that can be made by taking even a sliver of that market is enormous.”

Miller says that many market participants believe that electric vehicles will solve the emissions problem from road transport.

“The fact is that gasoline has a very, very long runway ahead of it,” he said. “Regardless of the assumptions you want to make about EV penetration, the volume of gasoline that we continue to use for the foreseeable future is huge.”

Verde Clean Fuels demo plant.

Verde’s projects are sized in the 500 – 3,000 barrels per day range, making them a unique player at the smaller end of the production range. The only other companies with similar methanol-to-gas technology are ExxonMobil and Danish-based Topsoe, which operate at a much larger scale, according to Miller.

Miller recognizes that low-carbon, or negative-carbon, gasoline operates within a complex ecosystem, with the California project potentially playing in that state’s LCFS and D3 RIN markets, in addition to the market for gasoline.

“What I would like to see us do is have an offtaker that plays in all three of those products – so if I can go to Shell Trading, or bp, or Vitol, and get one of them to say, ‘here’s a price,’ and they take all of that exposure and optionality,” Miller said, “that allows me to finance the project without having to manage a whole bunch of different commodity exposures and risk.”

Bakersfield 

The Bakersfield project, estimated to cost $235m to build, will utilize 450 tons per day of agricultural waste to produce gasoline, and sequester CO2 via California Resources’ carbon management company, Carbon TerraVault, a joint venture with Brookfield Renewable.

Because of the carbon sequestration, the project will qualify for incentives under 45Q, but since it is producing, in Miller’s words, “deeply carbon-negative gasoline,” most of the value for the project will come from California’s LCFS program.

In order to qualify for LCFS credits, the Bakersfield facility goes through the full GREET modeling process – including transport of feedstock, processing and refining, and transport away from the facility – returning a negative 125 grams equivalent per MJ carbon intensity score for the project, according to Miller.

As for investors, Verde “would like to see both California Resources and Brookfield Renewable in the project, either individually or through the Carbon TerraVault JV,” Miller said.

Verde is also in discussions with a handful of financial players, including infrastructure and pension funds that are looking for bond-like cash flow that a project finance model can provide. The company has also explored the municipal bond market in California, which would bring to bear a favorable capital structure for the project, Miller said.

Verde is not currently working with a project finance advisor, Miller said, noting that they have in-house project finance experience. In Texas, Verde is working with Vinson & Elkins as its law firm; and in California Verde is working with Orrick as counsel.

Gasoline runway

For the Diamondback facility in West Texas, which requires roughly $325m of capex, both Verde and Diamondback will take equity stakes in the project, and Verde will seek to bring in debt financing to fund the rest of the project costs in a non-recourse project finance deal, Miller said.

The Permian project seeks to provide a pathway to monetize stranded gas in the basin by taking advantage of and alleviating its lack of takeaway capacity, which causes gas prices at the Waha Hub in West Texas to trade at a significant discount to the Henry Hub price.

“Diamondback would take the position that any gas that’s getting consumed in the Permian Basin is gas that’s not getting flared in the Permian Basin,” Miller said, thus making the project a emissions-mitigating option. “There will never be enough natural gas takeaway capacity out of the Permian Basin,” he added, noting that driller profiles are only going to get gassier as time goes on.

Diamondback, for example, produces more in the Permian than it can take out via pipeline, therefore “finding a use, a different exposure, for that gas by turning it into gasoline, is of value for them,” Miller said.

“It’s the same dynamic in the Marcellus and Bakken and Uinta – all the pipeline-constrained basins,” he added, alluding to possible future expansion to those basins.

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