Resource logo with tagline

Hydrogen and CCUS factor heavily in U.S. DOE heavy-industry decarbonization selections

The projects are expected to reduce the equivalent of more than 14 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

Hydrogen and CCUS factor heavily into the projects that have been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as part of a $6 billion funding program for 33 projects across more than 20 states to decarbonize energy-intensive industries and reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions.

The full list of winners selected for grant negotiations is here. Below are some of the highlights:

Steelmaker SSAB has been selected to negotiate for a grant of up to $500m for the Hydrogen-Fueled Zero Emissions Steel Making project, which would bring green hydrogen-based steel production to the United States to build the first commercial-scale facility in the world using fossil-free Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) technology with 100% hydrogen in Perry County, Mississippi. The project also plans to expand SSAB’s Montpelier, Iowa steelmaking facility to utilize the resulting hydrogen-reduced DRI. SSAB has signed a letter of intent for Hy Stor Energy to supply green hydrogen and renewable electricity to the DRI facility. 

Cleveland-Cliffs has been selected to receive up to $500m for the Hydrogen-Ready Direct Reduced Iron Plant and Electric Melting Furnace Installation project for iron and steel, including plans to install a hydrogen-ready flex-fuel Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) plant and two electric melting furnaces at Cleveland-Cliffs’ Middletown Works mill in Ohio. 

Orsted would receive up to $100m for its Star e-Methanol project, which plans to use captured carbon dioxide from a local industrial facility to produce e-methanol to reduce the carbon footprint for hard-to-electrify sectors like shipping. Orsted’s facility is estimated to produce up to 300,000 metric tons of e-methanol per year and would reduce the carbon footprint by 80% or more than traditional production methods. 

Constellium has been selected to receive up to $75m for a zero carbon aluminum casting plant at its Ravenswood, West Virginia facility. The project would install low-emissions SmartMelt furnaces that can operate using a range of fuels, including clean hydrogen.

The National Cement Company of California would receive up to $500m for a carbon-neutral cement plant in Lebec, California. Instead of using fossil fuels, the project would use locally sourced biomass from agricultural byproducts such as pistachio shells, replace clinker with a less carbon intensive alternative (calcined clay) to produce limestone calcined clay cement (LC3), and capture and sequester the plant’s remaining approximately 950,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year.

Heidelberg Materials would receive up to $500m for an integrated carbon capture, transport, and storage system at their newly modernized plant located in Mitchell, Indiana. This project would capture at least 95% of the carbon dioxide from one of the largest cement plants in the nation and store it in a geologic formation beneath the plant property.

Unlock this article

The content you are trying to view is exclusive to our subscribers.
To unlock this article:

You might also like...

Nutrien evaluating $2bn blue ammonia project in Louisiana

Nutrien, a publicly traded company based in Canada, is evaluating Geismar, Louisiana as the site to build a clean ammonia facility.

Nutrien, a publicly traded company based in Canada, is evaluating Geismar, Louisiana as the site to build a clean ammonia facility, according to a news release.

Building on the company’s expertise in low-carbon ammonia production, the project will proceed to the front-end engineering design phase with a final investment decision expected in 2023.

If approved, construction of the approximately $2bn project would begin in 2024 with full production expected by 2027.

The new clean ammonia plant would use natural gas and high-quality carbon capture and sequestration infrastructure at its existing Geismar facility to serve agriculture, industrial and emerging energy markets.

The plant is expected to have an annual production capacity of 1.2 million metric tonnes of clean ammonia and capture at least 90 percent of CO2 emissions, permanently sequestering more than 1.8 million metric tonnes of CO2 in dedicated geological storage per annum.

Nutrien has signed a term sheet with Denbury Inc. that would allow for expansion of the existing volume of carbon sequestration capability in its Geismar facility, if selected as the final site of construction.

The company has also signed a Letter of Intent to collaborate with Mitsubishi Corporation for offtake of up to 40 percent of expected production from the plant to deliver to the Asian fuel market, including Japan, once construction is complete.

Read More »

HESTA to invest up to AUS 100m in Countrywide Hydrogen

The RNE Group will be responsible for securing debt and grant funding for the projects and the parties may add additional investors.

Australian superannuation fund HESTA will invest up to AUS 100m in Countrywide Hydrogen, a subsidiary of ReNu Energy, to develop green hydrogen projects, according to a press release.

The RNE Group will be responsible for securing debt and grant funding for the projects. HESTA will be provided a first right of refusal to invest in existing and new projects.

The parties may otherwise agree to add additional investors, the release states.

“Our task now is to advance to definitive agreements as soon as possible and progress commercial discussions with our project partners for green hydrogen offtake,” ReNu Energy CEO Greg Watson said in the release.

Countrywide Hydrogen is developing four renewable hydrogen projects, two in Tasmania and two in Victoria, according to its website. The company has additional projects in its pipeline.

Read More »

TPG-backed Ohmium to collaborate with Aguastill to produce GH2 from seawater

The parties will collaborate on a new application of sustainable desalination technology powered using waste heat to enable expansion of green hydrogen production.

Ohmium International, a leading green hydrogen company that designs, manufactures, and deploys advanced Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolyzers, today announced a strategic collaboration with Aquastill, one of the leaders in modular membrane distillation technology that uses the sustainable power of waste heat for desalination.

The companies said today that the collaboration will enable Ohmium to use desalinated seawater as an input in green hydrogen production.

By integrating Aquastill’s desalination capabilities with Ohmium’s modular green hydrogen electrolyzers, the collaboration will create new decarbonization opportunities for businesses operating in coastal areas by providing a more efficient, sustainable and affordable way of producing clean energy.

In addition, the innovative integration of modular desalination units will facilitate new applications for cost-effective green hydrogen production, including co-locating PEM electrolyzers with offshore wind farms, to enable the production of green hydrogen at-source. Ohmium and Aquastill have begun assessing optimal integration of these technologies, with the intention of having these fine-tuned modules commercially available as soon as possible.

Headquartered in the United States, with manufacturing facilities in India and operations worldwide, Ohmium has a global green hydrogen project pipeline of more than 1.8 GW across three continents. In 2023, Ohmium raised $250 Million in Series C financing, led by TPG Rise Climate.

“This strategic collaboration is a great example of how the innovative integration of Ohmium and Aquastill’s technologies can enable the expansion of green hydrogen production to new sectors and geographies,” said Arne Ballantine, CEO of Ohmium International. “Utilizing Aquastill’s membrane technology to efficiently produce green hydrogen from seawater has the potential to be a game changer for companies operating in coastal or rural regions that want to affordably and sustainably decarbonize.”

Aquastill’s technology is powered by the residual heat from Ohmium’s electrolyzers and the membrane distillation process simultaneously provides additional cooling capabilities for the electrolyzer. Unlike other energy intensive desalination technologies, the waste heat membrane-based distillation process has minimal energy requirements. These advanced desalination modules feature a modular and compact system design, making them easily transportable to wherever clean water is needed.

“We are excited to be working with Ohmium, to successfully pair their cutting-edge PEM electrolyzers with our membrane distillation technology – providing an ideal platform to expand the transformational impact of green hydrogen production to other industries,” said Bart Nelemans, CEO of Aquastill“We have already begun to test the integration of our respective technologies, and we are confident that as a result of this joint collaboration we will be able to produce cost-competitive green hydrogen from seawater, while simultaneously helping decarbonize the operations of companies operating in coastal regions.”

Read More »
exclusive

Hydrogen firm launches equity raise

A US hydrogen infrastructure and project development outfit has mandated a banker to conduct a raise for equity and project capital.

Lifte H2, the Boston-based hydrogen infrastructure and project developer, has mandated a banker to conduct a Series A capital raise, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Energy & Industrial Advisory Partners is running the process, which launched recently, the sources said. Lifte H2 is seeking equity in the topco and development capital for its first project.

Talks with strategic and financial investors are being conducted now.

Lifte H2, which also has offices in Berlin, is led by Co-founder and CEO Matthew Blieske, who served as global hydrogen product manager for Shell before starting Lifte H2 in 2021. The founding team also includes Jeremy Manaus, Angela Akroyd, Richard Zhang, Paul Karzel, and Richard Wiens, all of whom previously worked at Shell.

In January, the company launched two hydrogen transport and dispensing products, the MACH₂ Mobile Refueler, which is a combination dispenser and high-capacity trailer; and the MACH2 High-Capacity Hydrogen Trailer, which has a capacity of 1,330 kg at approximately 550 bar and, according to the company, enables the lowest cost per kilogram for over-the-road transport.

The company signed an MOU last year with Swiss compressor manufacturer Burckhardt Compression to develop a joint offering of hydrogen solutions.

Read More »
exclusive

Pharma and fuels tech provider could be ready for public listing

International biotechnology firm Insilico Medicine is applying the algorithms that produce novel drugs to synthesizing more sustainable petrochemical fuels and materials.

Insilico Medicine, a global biotechnology firm serving the pharmaceutical and carbon-based energy industries, could be ready for a public listing in the next phase of its corporate evolution.

Insilico, founded in Baltimore and now based in Hong Kong, has raised about $400m in private capital to date and is in the position of a company that would be exploring a public listing in the US and Hong Kong, CEO Alex Zhavoronkov said in an interview. He declined to say if he has hired a financial advisor to run such a process but said a similar company in his position would have.

The generative AI platform that the company uses to produce novel drugs can be applied to produce more sustainable carbon-based fuels, Zhavoronkov said. The objective is to maximize btu and minimize CO2, making the fuels burn longer and cleaner.

Saudi Arabia’s state oil company Aramco is a user of the technology and participated in Insilico’s $95m Series D (oversubscribed and split between two sub-rounds) last year through its investment arm Prosperity7.

Petrochemistry is going to be needed well into the future, Zhavoronkov said. In addition to renewable energy and other ESG efforts, the efficiency of petrochemicals should be a top priority.

“If you burn certain petrochemicals in certain combinations, you can achieve a reasonably clean burn and an energy efficient burn,” he said. For specific tasks like space travel or Formula 1 racing, combined fuels produce the necessary torque, and generative chemistry can achieve those objectives in a more sustainable way. “I think that we can make the world significantly cleaner just by modifying petrochemical products.”

The technology can also be used to make organic matter in petrochemical products degrade more quickly, which is useful in the case of plastics, Zhavoronkov said.

The company’s AI is primarily based in Montreal and in the drug discovery business in China, but fuel research takes place in Abu Dhabi. Zhavoronkov said he has hired a lot of “AI refugees” from Russia and Ukraine to work at the latter location. The company has 40 employees in the UAE and will likely scale to 70.

Insilico is capitalized for the next two years or so, he said. That doesn’t account for revenue, which closed at just under $30m in 2022. The petrochemical and materials business is under the AI research arm of the business, which is covered by funds raised to date.

“Our board would probably not allow me to reinvent myself as an energy play,” Zhavoronkov said. But the board does not object to applying resources to petrochemical products.

Read More »
exclusive

Cutting the electricity out of electrolysis

Milwaukee-based start-up Advanced Ionics is seeking to commercialize an electrolyzer that cuts electricity needs for hydrogen production to as low as 30 kWh per kilogram.

Advanced Ionics is seeking to ramp manufacturing capacity and raise capital as it begins to commercialize an electrolyzer promising to reduce electricity needs, CEO Chad Mason said in an interview.

The Milwaukee-based company is working to demonstrate its low-cost electrolyzer technology through a partnership with the Repsol Foundation.

The technology will be tested locally, but could grow to include additional tests and, eventually, a commercial relationship with the Spain-based energy and petrochemical company.

Advanced Ionics is looking to move into a larger facility in Milwaukee to advance early-stage production of the electrolyzer, which uses steam from process and waste heat to reduce the amount of electricity required in electrolysis.

The company last year raised $4.2m in a seed round led by Clean Energy Ventures, with participation from SWAN Impact Network. It has also received financial support from Repsol and $500,000 from the DOE.

As it scales, Mason said, the company will also need to raise additional capital, but he declined further comment.

Going to market

The Repsol arrangement is part of the company’s early access program allowing potential end users to take a first look at the technology.

“Repsol is just the tip of the iceberg here,” Mason said. “We’re talking to some really amazing partners at some of the largest energy companies in the world. People who use hydrogen today and want to make it green immediately understand what we’re doing.”

Given the concentration of hydrogen use in petrochemicals and ammonia, Advanced Ionics is targeting these sectors for deployment of its electrolyzers to produce clean hydrogen, Mason added.

Mason noted that, as the traditional petrochemical industry dies off over time, it will be replaced by green materials and green fuels like sustainable aviation fuel and biofuels that require hydrogenation to be useable.

“You’ll see a bit of a replacement happening on the petrochemical side, towards a green chemical,” he said, adding that a third potential key market is green steel production using hydrogen.

Thermodynamically favored

The company’s Symbiotic electrolyzers use steam by tapping into excess heat from industrial settings, thereby lowering electricity needs for water splitting to 35 kWh per kg, with 30 kWh per kg possible. That compares to industry averages over 50 kWh per kg.

Advanced Ionics’ water vapor electrolyzer

“We set out to build an electrolyzer specifically that would operate at intermediate temperatures,” he said. “And that allows you to have the synergy with those processes, and the downstream effect is the most cost-effective hydrogen you can get.”

The resulting hydrogen could be available for less than $1 per kg – but, Mason notes, the underlying power price math assumes an abundance of cheap, clean power. The models are usually pricing in two cents per kWh, the availability of which, Mason added, is “extremely geographically dependent.”

“If you’re in Texas, you have a system with wind, solar, and some amount of clean energy grid back-up, it’s pretty attractive,” he said. “Or if you hook up to a hydroelectric facility in the Northwest or in the Quebec area.”

Mason added, “Electrolysis rides on the coattails of cheap, clean electricity. What we have under our control is to make sure we’re using as little electricity as possible.”

Read More »

Welcome Back

Get Started

Sign up for a free 15-day trial and get the latest clean fuels news in your inbox.