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Fusion Fuel and Toyota Material Handling collaborate on hydrogen forklifts in Spain

The companies will offer a fully financed solution that combines Hydrogen-as-a-Service with Toyota's operational rental and leasing solutions for their range of forklift products.

Fusion Fuel and Toyota Material Handling España, S.A. have signed a collaboration agreement to promote the development of the green hydrogen fuel cell forklift market in Spain, according to a news release.

The collaboration seeks to further strengthen TMHES’s leadership position in the domestic zero emissions forklift truck segment by offering end-to-end solutions of fuel cell forklifts combined with green hydrogen production and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure provided by Fusion Fuel Spain and its industrial partners.

The companies will offer a fully financed solution that combines Hydrogen-as-a-Service – guaranteeing security of supply at competitive prices – with TMHES’s market-leading operational rental and leasing solutions for their range of forklift products.

Both companies view the logistics and material handling sector as uniquely well suited to benefit from the advantages of hydrogen energy and consider fuel cell forklift solutions as a critical decarbonization vector, particularly in logistics operations requiring heavy loads and high operating hours. The companies aim to deploy their green hydrogen solutions to legacy forklift truck fleets, as well as to integrated hydrogen logistics projects that combine the full spectrum of fuel cell vehicles for supply chain, distribution and materials handing operations.

Commenting on the agreement, Grant Greatrex, co-founder of Fusion Fuel Spain and Mobility Lead for the company said, “we are excited to announce this collaboration with a fellow pioneering company in the green hydrogen energy transition and see great potential for fully financed integrated solutions for our joint clients.”

Frederico Chaves, co-head of Fusion Fuel, added, “we have spoken at length about the importance of value chain partnerships to develop the green hydrogen ecosystem and solve the chicken-and-egg problem that all too often hinders the commercial adoption of novel technology. We are extremely excited about the potential of this partnership to help accelerate the deployment of Fusion Fuel’s technology and TMHES’ forklift solutions within the Spanish logistics and material handling market.”

Joan Catalan, director general of Toyota Material Handling España, has spoken about the partnership with Fusion Fuel Spain, “we are pleased to collaborate with Fusion Fuel Spain in the development of Hydrogen as a green energy for the mobility in our country. Sustainability is one of our key objectives, working to Zero emissions target, and we believe that green Hydrogen applied to forklifts market will be a key element in this journey. Hydrogen has been proven as a clear alternative to other sources of energy when talking about performance, quick refill and zero emissions in intensive applications. Toyota has been working on hydrogen for many years, starting with the Fuel Cell forklift prototype presented in 2005, so this cooperation agreement is a further step to reinforce the actions already underway.”

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Amazon invests in green hydrogen companies

Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund is accelerating efforts to decarbonize global operations through green hydrogen.

Amazon’s USD 2bn Climate Pledge Fund is accelerating efforts to decarbonize global operations through green hydrogen.

The Climate Pledge Fund announced new investments in Electric Hydrogen and Sunfire, two U.S. and European-based developers of electrolyzers, a key technology that makes emissions-free green hydrogen using water and renewable electricity, according to a 13 July press release.

“To curb the climate crisis, we need to continually develop innovative solutions that can scale, whether it’s through the electrification of electric vehicles, investments in nature-based solutions, a decarbonized electric grid, or increased production of green hydrogen,” said Kara Hurst, vice president of Worldwide Sustainability at Amazon. “We are proud to be investing in visionary companies like Electric Hydrogen and Sunfire that are developing vital technology for the deployment of green hydrogen to help decarbonize hard-to-abate sectors.”

“Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund is a model for corporate investment in pragmatic climate solutions. We are thrilled to have Amazon as a partner in decarbonizing industries like long-haul freight transport and aviation,” said Raffi Garabedian, CEO of Electric Hydrogen. “Amazon and The Climate Pledge Fund have a clear and expansive vision of the role that green hydrogen will play in decarbonizing their operations. We look forward to collaborating on fossil-free hydrogen projects as we advance toward commercialization.”

“We are proud to welcome Amazon as our investor and look forward to working with a company that has such ambitious climate targets”, said Nils Aldag, CEO of Sunfire. “Green hydrogen is urgently needed to decarbonize and to secure energy supply without fossil fuels. Since 2010, Sunfire has been leading the way in this field. With a unique electrolyzer portfolio and a team of 400 specialists, Sunfire today is one of the few companies capable of providing hydrogen-producing systems on an industrial scale. With Amazon’s help, we want to further scale up our production capacity.”

The Climate Pledge Fund is investing in visionary companies across industries, including transportation and logistics, energy generation, storage and utilization, manufacturing and materials, circular economy, and food and agriculture.

Amazon has now invested in 18 companies, including Rivian, Redwood Materials, Turntide, CarbonCure, Pachama, Infinium, ZeroAvia, BETA Technologies, ION Energy, CMC, Resilient Power, Hippo Harvest, Amogy, Ambient Photonics, Brimstone, Verne, and now Electric Hydrogen and Sunfire. These companies are advancing technologies and business solutions that can help Amazon and others reach net-zero carbon by 2040.

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United Airlines invests in NEXT Renewable Fuels

Houston-based NEXT is permitting a biofuel refinery in Port Westward, Oregon, which could produce 50,000 barrels per day of renewable fuels.

United Airlines Ventures has made a strategic investment in NEXT Renewable Fuels, according to a press release.

Houston-based NEXT is permitting a flagship biofuel refinery in Port Westward, Oregon, with expected production beginning in 2026. At full production, the facility could produce 50,000 barrels per day of Sustainable Aviation Fuel, renewable diesel, and other renewable fuels.

UAV could invest as much as $37.5m into NEXT contingent on milestone targets.

NEXT has secured an agreement with BP for sourcing 100 percent of its feedstock. Once all the necessary approvals and permits are obtained and the biorefinery is operational, it has the potential to be used as a platform to scale SAF and deploy additional future technologies, the release states.

The announcement marks UAV’s fifth SAF-related technology investment and its first investment directly in a biorefinery.

United is the latest major airline to deploy equity in the hydroge space. Last month, American Airline announced an equity investment in Universal Hydrogen Co.

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Cleveland-Cliffs CEO: ‘Hydrogen is the future’

The largest producer of flat-rolled steel in North America plans to lean heavily on hydrogen to reduce its carbon footprint.

Cleveland Cliffs CEO Lourenco Goncalves is staking his company’s ability to decarbonize on large-scale use of hydrogen as a reductant in its blast furnaces.

The steelmaker is building a $9m pipeline that will feed hydrogen from the edge of its Indiana Harbor 7 plant into the blast furnace, what Goncalves called the company’s “high water mark” for hydrogen since it is the biggest plant of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.

“It’s the biggest blast furnace, the one that we use the most in terms of hydrogen because of its size,” Goncalves said on the company’s earnings call. “And it’s also because it’s our flagship, for instance, our biggest, the biggest in the Western Hemisphere and we are going to use as a demonstration plant for how to use hydrogen” in steelmaking.

Cleveland Cliffs in May completed a hydrogen injection trial at its Middletown Works blast furnace on a smaller scale.

Goncalves said previously that the company committed to offtake 200 tons per day of the 1000-ton-per-day project being developed by bp and Constellation as part of the Midwest Hydrogen Hub located in Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan.

The hub was recently awarded up to $1bn in funding from the US Department of Energy hydrogen hubs program.

“Cliffs’ commitment to buy a large portion of the output from the Midwest hub helped get this location selected by the Department of Energy,” Goncalves said.

“Hydrogen is the future,” he said. “Effectively, all of the current carbon emissions in our footprint are a result of the use of fossil fuel-based reductants or energy sources, where there is no economically feasible alternative,” he added. “Hydrogen can and ultimately will change that.”

He added that the use of hydrogen is very minimally capital intensive if you already have blast furnaces, with only minor plant additions needed, such as the Indiana Harbor pipeline.

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NOx mitigation firm looking to scale

A publicly listed company with a hydrogen burner project backed by one of the largest US utilities could accelerate growth with a capital infusion in pursuit of first-adopter clients. It offers technology that aims to mitigate an underappreciated aspect of the embryonic clean hydrogen ecosystem: blending hydrogen with natural gas can greatly increase NOx emissions when combusted.

ClearSign Technologies, the publicly listed burner solutions provider, is at an inflection point in the development of its products to serve players in the emerging hydrogen landscape, CEO Jim Deller said in an interview.

“We’re new,” Deller said of the company’s emergence on the hydrogen scene. The company is aggressively seeking a place in the hydrogen mainstream as it pursues first-adopter clients. “We need to get our install base up.”

ClearSign recently received a collaboration commitment and pledged funding for its 100% Hydrogen Ultra Low NOx burner project from Southern California Gas Co. This comes on top of the SBIR program Phase 2 Award for $1.6m from the DOE. The company has one year’s cash on hand, according to Deller.

Hydrogen blending increases the output of NOx emissions, which are heavily regulated, Deller explained. A 20% hydrogen blend with fuel gas, for example, causes a 40% increase in NOx emissions.

The goal of the project with SoCalGas is to develop NOx hydrogen burner technology, which the company believes will enable the adoption of hydrogen fuel for industrial heating.

“Your NOx permit is not going to change,” he said. “In order to use even a small amount of hydrogen in your fuel gas, you need a technology that’s going to allow you to maintain NOx emissions for an efficient price.”

Deller said he sees ClearSign as an enabler of the hydrogen transition, pointing to SoCalGas’ need to keep their clients compliant with their operating permits.

“They’re going to have to modify their technology to enable the combustion of hydrogen without exceeding their NOx permits, and that’s where we come in.”

A ‘pivotal point’

ClearSign is open to discussing partnerships and financial options to scale deployment of its technology, Deller said, pointing to potential markets in Texas and the Pacific Northwest.

“We’re certainly open to any company that has a compatible technology,” Deller said.

ClearSign is not engaged for M&A now, but it does have discussions with prospective financial advisors, company spokesperson Matthew Selinger said. “Like any small company, if we had more money we could potentially accelerate faster.”

The company is not considering a spin off now, Deller said, focusing instead on getting traction commercially. ClearSign has not historically taken on debt. Those types of business opportunities are not off the table, but technical synergy and strategic partnerships are first pursued for value creation.

“We’re at a pivotal point, I believe, in the development of our technology,” Deller said. “I’m open to talk about any ideas.”

A technology in development

The burner technology is also applicable to systems that use only hydrogen, Deller said. The Phase 2 DOE grant funding is meant to develop a full range of commercial burners that will operate through a range of fuel gasses up to and including 100% hydrogen.

ClearSign does not have additional partnerships pending announcement, Deller said. But what’s applicable in Southern California is relevant to discussions happening in proposed hydrogen hubs around the country.

The company is headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, along with process burner manufacturing partner Zeeco. It uses third-party manufacturing and will continue to do so, Deller said.

ClearSign also has offices in Seattle and Beijing. The company’s US and Chinese businesses to not have a materials shipping relationship, Deller said. The model followed has manufacturing separated between countries.

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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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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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