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Hyzon Motors appoints first COO

Hyzon Motors Inc., a global supplier of zero-emission heavy-duty fuel cell electric vehicles, has named Dr. Bappa Banerjee as its first chief operating officer.

Hyzon Motors Inc., a global supplier of zero-emission heavy-duty fuel cell electric vehicles, has named Dr. Bappa Banerjee as chief operating officer (COO), effective May 1, 2023, according to a news release.

As the company’s first COO, Banerjee will oversee Hyzon Motors’ global operations, manufacturing, engineering, commercial and end-to-end supply chain. In this role, Banerjee will lead the operations team to ensure delivery of high-quality products to customers and provide strategic direction for Hyzon’s continued growth as the company develops and delivers hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles throughout its markets.

“Banerjee will be a critical part of Hyzon’s leadership team as we continue working toward our mission of producing zero-emissions hydrogen fuel cell powered commercial vehicles,” said Hyzon CEO Parker Meeks. “His experience includes a rare combination of driving global engineering in powertrain development and implementing world-class manufacturing and operating processes across markets. Bappa brings the industry background and leadership expertise to take Hyzon fuel cell electric trucks to production and commercialization with strong global safety and quality standards, and excellent regional execution.”

Banerjee has more than two decades of experience leading operations, engineering, and commercial functions for global companies including GE Transportation, a Wabtec Company, and Caterpillar, according to the release. Throughout his career, Banerjee has held full profit and loss responsibilities at multi-billion dollar top-line businesses, and demonstrated a proven track record of growing sales across international markets while reducing costs through the implementation of Lean Manufacturing processes.

“I have long been convinced of hydrogen’s critical role in decarbonizing transport, and Hyzon Motors is uniquely positioned at the intersection of technology and transportation, working toward a clean energy future,” said Banerjee. “The opportunity to tangibly impact our lives by reducing carbon and noise emissions for our communities excites me tremendously. I look forward to joining the talented team at Hyzon and applying my industry and operational experience to help accelerate the production of zero-emission hydrogen vehicles.”

Most recently, Banerjee served as vice president, mining equipment at GE Transportation where he led the new technology development, design, production, and sale of electric drive propulsion systems for mining equipment, including aftermarket. This included developing battery and fuel cell electric solutions, purpose-built to meet the needs of the challenging, harsh mining environment. In this role, Banerjee oversaw the sales, marketing, and supply chain localization for global growth.

Prior to his role at GE Transportation, Banerjee held progressing roles at Caterpillar in the Resource Industries Division, where he served as Worldwide Product Head of Off-Highway Trucks & Wheel Tractor Scrapers, and Facility Head for Caterpillar Remanufacturing China & Japan. Banerjee was a crucial leader in establishing a long-term strategic plan for Caterpillar Remanufacturing Services (Shanghai), developing local leadership, establishing a succession pipeline, and growing the business.

This appointment follows the appointments Hyzon has made in recent months of CEO Parker Meeks, interim Chief Financial Officer Jiajia Wu, President of International Operations John Edgley, and President of North America Pat Griffin.

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Clean Energy and Maas partner for 9 RNG newbuilds

Financed by Clean Energy, the nine sites are forecasted to cost approximately $130m in total.

Clean Energy Fuels Corp., the largest provider of the cleanest fuel for the transportation market, and Maas Energy Works, the nation’s largest dairy digester developer, have entered a new joint development agreement to build nine renewable natural gas (RNG) production facilities at dairy farms across seven states.

The new partnership will include dairies located in Colorado, South Dakota, Georgia, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska and New Mexico, and will collect the manure from a combined herd size of approximately 35,000 cows preventing the methane emissions from entering the atmosphere, according to a news release.

The nine projects, each subject to finalizing diligence before beginning construction, are expected to be completed in 2026 and will produce up to an estimated 4 million gallons of ultra-clean RNG annually, a negative carbon-intensity transportation fuel which will make its way into Clean Energy’s nationwide network of RNG stations.

Industry pioneer Maas Energy Works has completed over 60 dairy digester projects over the past decade. The team specializes in lagoon cover digesters which involve a large tarp over a manure lagoon to capture the methane emissions. This process makes these facilities significantly less expensive to build and operate compared to tank digesters seen at other RNG plants. Financed by Clean Energy, the nine sites are forecasted to cost approximately $130 million in total.

“This JV brings together expertise from a seasoned RNG developer and producer and Clean Energy’s extensive RNG distribution network and growing RNG customer base. We are excited to continue our long working relationship with the team at Maas Energy Works to get these facilities online and producing pipeline quality RNG to help supply our transportation fleet customers with clean fuel to help them meet their sustainability goals,” said Clay Corbus, senior vice president at Clean Energy.

“This joint venture is clear proof that family farms paired with private businesses are an unstopped force in achieving decarbonization. If the markets for renewable fuels are clear and consistent, then American’s biogas industry will deliver. We will soon be capturing fugitive manure emissions and turning them into carbon-negative truck fuel with our partners at Clean Energy,” said Daryl Maas, CEO of Maas Energy Works.

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GSE Solutions to build hydrogen plant model for NuScale’s SMR plant simulator

The project will determine the technical and economic feasibility of connecting a hydrogen production facility to a NuScale small modular reactor and evaluate operating parameters.

GSE Solutions, a provider of advanced engineering and workforce solutions that supports the future of clean-energy production and decarbonization initiatives of the power industry, announced today that it will build a hydrogen plant model for NuScale Power’s VOYGR small modular reactor (SMR) plant simulator.

GSE will provide the models, integration, and testing support to NuScale using its JPro Dynamic Simulation Software.

Portland, Oregon-based NuScale along with Shell Global Solutions (Shell) will develop and assess a concept for an economically optimized Integrated Energy System (IES) for hydrogen production using electricity and process heat from the SMR power plant.

GSE strives to create the most accurate, highest-level of advanced modeling technologies on the market, providing unparalleled accuracy and detail, enabling simulators to be used to test engineering changes, control system design and strategies, and even perform human factors engineering prior to plant commissioning, according to the news release.

GSE is one of just a handful of companies tapped to support NuScale in developing and assessing an economically optimized Integrated Energy System (IES) for hydrogen production using electricity and process heat from the VOYGR SMR. The existing NuScale control room simulator will be modified to evaluate the dynamics of the IES and will include GSE’s models for hydrogen production. The project will determine the technical and economic feasibility of connecting a hydrogen production facility to a NuScale SMR and evaluate operating parameters.

GSE appreciates their long-standing, 10+ year relationship with NuScale that has resulted in the delivery of their four Energy Exploration Centers, which employ GSE Solutions’ state-of-the-art simulation technology. The companies also worked together to demonstrate NuScale’s new control room operating and staffing philosophy to regulators and customers using a GSE simulator. The Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cell project will again showcase new concepts for use in small modular reactor power plants.

“We are proud to support NuScale in conducting this innovative research,” said Kyle Loudermilk, president and chief executive officer of GSE Solutions. “Our modeling of SMR technology and nuclear power systems help facilitate hydrogen production and demonstrates the potential to balance and stabilize power grids that will be driven by renewable energy sources in the future.”

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The clean energy project of the future looks something like … a refinery?

An optimized clean energy plant of the future might hinge on biofuels upgrading with green hydrogen, in a scenario that provides optionality to the facility operator, similar to a downstream oil refinery that manages its output based on market signals.

A new research note from Longspur Research examines the potential for hydrogen in a decarbonized economy, noting biofuels upgrading with green hydrogen as a promising path forward for clean fuels developers.

The note calls for realism with respect to where hydrogen does and does not make sense, but  acknowledges that long-term demand for justifiable use cases for hydrogen could amount to 447 million tons annually, with the main opportunities related to projects in ammonia, methanol, biomethane, grid balancing and refueling. 

One of the standout use cases? Upgrading biofuels using green hydrogen to enhance output or make derivatives like methanol.

“The clean energy project of the future may be an integrated project with a grid connected solar farm powering an electrolyzer with battery storage and with hydrogen produced sold to the market or upgrading the output from a biomethane or biomethanol plant,” reads the note, which was published yesterday. “This brings the operator lots of optionality with real time optimization into multiple energy markets including baseload power, peak load power, peak power, hydrogen and biofuel, with carbon credits on the side and perhaps pure oxygen as a by-product.”

The note continues, “It will be more like a downstream oil refinery managing its output mix in real time to meet the needs of varying markets.”

At the Varenne Carbon Recycling facility in Quebec, Canada, for instance, the county’s largest electrolyzer deployment so far is co-located with a biomass gasification plant to make green methanol. The project is backed by Proman, Enerkem, Shell, and Suncor.

In the case of methanol, the gasification of carbohydrate typically results in a syngas with equal parts hydrogen and carbon monoxide. Methanol, however, requires twice as much hydrogen as carbon monoxide, so adding hydrogen from an electrolyzer can increase methanol output from the same amount of feedstock.

Similarly, anaerobic digestion production can be combined with green hydrogen to double the amount of biomethane produced from the same amount of feedstock “and we see this growing as a source of demand for hydrogen production,” the note reads.

Anaerobic digestion produces biomethane and CO2, thus putting the excess CO2 through a methanation process with hydrogen produces more methane. 

“Note that in both cases” – methanol and anaerobic digestion – “the amount of resulting fuel is maximized for the biomass input and, unlike pure e-fuels, no carbon capture is required other than the initial biomass photosynthesis.”

In addition to the Varennes project, Norwegian Hydrogen AS is developing biogas projects co-located with wind and electrolysis, with a first project in Denmark. KBR has launched PureM, an advanced green methanol technology that combines green hydrogen with CO2 from biogenic sources or carbon capture.

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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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Illinois ethanol company seeking offtaker for SAF project

Seeking to diversify into new markets, Marquis, a family-owned ethanol producer based in Illinois, is looking for an offtaker for its first sustainable aviation fuel plant.

Marquis, a family-owned ethanol producer based in Illinois, is seeking an offtaker for its first sustainable aviation fuel plant.

The company, which is developing the plant in partnership with LanzaJet, an SAF firm, recently completed a feasibility study for the project, and is looking for airlines or users of renewable diesel as offtakers, Dr. Jennifer Aurandt Pilgrim, the company’s director of innovation, said in an interview.

Marquis owns and operates a 400 million gallon per year ethanol plant – the largest dry-grind ethanol plant in the world – which produces sustainable ethanol for fuel and chemicals as well as a feed for the aquaculture and poultry industries.

The company will divert roughly 200 million of those gallons to make 120 million gallons per year of SAF and renewable diesel, Aurandt said, noting that Marquis is looking to branch into new markets where ethanol is a feedstock.

“As more electric vehicles come on, there will be about a 3 billion gallon demand destruction for ethanol, and SAF is one of the great markets that we can diversify into,” she said.

Aurandt said financing for the SAF facility will ultimately depend on who the offtaker is.

Use cases

United Airlines, Tallgrass, and Green Plains Inc. recently formed a joint venture – Blue Blade Energy – to develop and then commercialize SAF technology that uses ethanol as its feedstock.

SAF using corn as a feedstock does not currently qualify for incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act, which uses standards laid out by the International Civil Aviation Organization that effectively exclude corn-based SAF from qualifying.

Marquis and other ethanol producers are pushing for the adoption of a lifecycle greenhouse gas model, known as GREET, developed by the Argonne National Laboratory, that would allow corn-based feedstock to qualify, said Dustin Marquis, the company’s director of government relations.

The company is also looking to attract partners to set up operations in the Marquis Industrial Complex, which is touted as a 3,300-acre industrial site with natural gas lines, access to multiple forms of transportation, and carbon sequestration on-site.

“We’re looking for other businesses where there would be either vertical integration or business synergies between the two organizations,” Marquis said.

Marquis said in a news release it would develop two 600 ton per day blue hydrogen and blue ammonia facilities along with manufacturing for carbon neutral bio-based chemicals and plastics.

CO2 utilization

In its production process, Marquis makes 1.2 million tons of biogenic CO2 per year, and has applied for an EPA Class IV permit for sequestration.

“We like to say it’s direct air capture with the corn plant,” Aurandt said, adding that the CO2 is purified via fermentation to 99.9% pure, and will be injected into a formation that sits beneath the Marquis Industrial Complex.

The company is additionally developing a CO2 utilization project with LanzaTech, which would augment ethanol production using CO2 as a feedstock. The project was recently awarded an $8.54m grant from the US Department of Energy, the largest award in the category of corn ethanol emission reduction.

“We can increase the amount of ethanol that we produce here by 50%,” Aurandt said. “So we could make 200 million gallons of ethanol per year” from CO2, she added, noting that the pilot demonstration will be the largest CO2 utilization project in North America. It is expected to be operational in late 2024.

The SAF plant and the CO2 utilization project will use hydrogen for refining and as an energy source, respectively, Aurandt said.

Gas Liquid Engineering is the EPC for the CO2 unit, and Marquis will use compressors from Swedish multinational Atlas Copco.

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Green hydrogen developer raising capital for projects

Fusion Fuel, a green hydrogen developer based in Portugal, has engaged an advisor and is in talks with investors to raise capital for projects in North America.

Fusion Fuel, a green hydrogen developer based in Portugal, has engaged an advisor and is in talks with investors to raise capital for projects in North America.

The company is working with RBC Capital Markets as financial advisor, Fusion Fuel Co-Head Zachary Steele said in an interview, and expects to produce infrastructure-type returns on its projects.

For its first project in the U.S., Fusion Fuel has agreed to a JV with Electus Energy to build a 75 MW solar-to-hydrogen facility in Bakersfield, California.

The project will produce up to 9,300 tons of green hydrogen per annum including nighttime operation and require an estimated $180m in capital investment, with a final investment decision expected in early 2024 and commissioning in the first half of 2025.

The combination of green hydrogen and solar production incentives along with California’s low carbon fuel standard make the economics of the project attractive, Steele said.

“Hydrogen is selling for up to $15-$18 per kilogram in California in the mobility market, and we can produce it at around the low $3 per kilogram area, so that leaves a lot of room for us to make a return and reduce costs for customers,” he said.

The company sells electrolyzer technology for projects but also serves as a turnkey developer. The technology consists of Hevo-Solar, which utilizes concentrated solar power to create hydrogen; and Hevo-Chain, a centralized PEM electrolyzer powered by external electricity.

Fusion Fuel’s proposition is that its smaller-scale technology – of 25 kW per unit –  is ready to use now, and can be dropped into places like a gas station in New York City, Steele said.

“This allows customers to scale into hydrogen and makes it available on site, compared with the massive projects going up in Eastern Canada or the Gulf Coast that require customers to commit significant capital to underwrite large scale projects,” he added.

Along with Electus, Fusion Fuel has already entered into a land-lease agreement for 320 acres in Kern County, California for the Bakersfield development. Black & Veatch will perform a concept study while Cornerstone Engineering and Headwaters Solutions are also engaged.

Iberian pipeline

The company targets to have EUR 40m of revenues in 2023, with a third of that coming from tech sales and the balance coming from Fusion Fuel-owned development projects.

Its revenue pipeline for next year is focused on the Iberian peninsula, and has been largely de-risked with the company having secured grants, with land and permitting underway.

In addition to the electrolyzer sales, the company, together with its partners, can provide turnkey projects that include engineering, procurement of the balance of plant equipment, construction of the facility, and operations, Steele said on an investor call this week.

“This allows us to not only make returns on the tech sale but also on the overall project and potentially recurring revenue from operations,” he said.

The company plans to use projects it is building in Portugal to expand into other core markets, beginning with a focus on mobility opportunities and targeted industrial decarbonization projects. Starting in 2024 the company plans to extend its reach further into North America and also Italy.

U.S. focus

Similar to other international hydrogen players, the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act caused a strategic shift of focus to the U.S. and accelerated Fusion Fuel’s plans to grow its business there, company executives said.

Notably, since Fusion Fuel will use its own technology in the projects it is seeking to develop, a required amount of that technology will need to be manufactured in the U.S. in order to qualify for the full benefits provided in the IRA.

As such, Fusion Fuel is scouting for a location to build one, or possibly two, manufacturing facilities in the U.S.

“The size of the Bakersfield project alone justifies building a new manufacturing facility,” Steele said on the investor call.

Steele was previously CEO of Cedar LNG, a floating LNG development in British Columbia, prior to exiting to Pembina. He works alongside Fusion Fuels Co-Head & CFO, Frederico Figueira de Chaves, who is based in Portugal.

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