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Raven SR signs MoU for Canadian biofuels facilities for heavy transport

The MOU provides a roadmap for a co-development partnership for deploying Raven SR’s patented Steam/CO2 Reforming process in Cap Clean’s portfolio of biofuel facilities across Canada.

Raven SR Inc., a renewable fuels company, and Cap Clean Energy Corp. (Cap Clean), a clean energy development company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to co-develop biofuels facilities in Canada to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable diesel (RD) for the heavy duty transport sector, according to a news release.

The MOU provides a roadmap for a co-development partnership for deploying Raven SR’s patented Steam/CO2 Reforming process in Cap Clean’s portfolio of biofuel facilities across Canada. This partnership will allow Cap Clean to produce high-quality renewable fuels from various biomass and bio-wastes feedstocks for the difficult-to-abate transportation sector using modular systems capable of rapid production scale-up.

“This MOU with Cap Clean Energy provides a pathway to explore development opportunities in Canada, and in addition to expanding our SAF production footprint, will lay the groundwork for our first renewable diesel project,” said Matt Murdock, CEO of Raven SR.

“Our agreement with Cap Clean will enable the production of SAF and RD with zero to negative carbon intensities in strategic North American markets utilizing local waste feedstocks that do not compete with food production. By reducing waste and emissions, we can have a meaningful impact on mitigating climate change while meeting the growing demand for sustainable and renewable fuels.”

By converting various types of wastes, such as biomass waste, municipal solid waste, organic waste, and methane from municipal solid waste into clean fuels, Raven SR offers a sustainable solution for the reliable and long-term production of SAF and renewable fuels.

“Our purpose at Cap Clean is to develop a portfolio of clean energy assets to power society with more sustainable energy,” said Steve Polvi, CEO of Cap Clean.

“Cap Clean is committed to becoming an industry leader in sustainable biofuels production. The announcement between Cap Clean and Raven SR will support our goals of helping to rapidly decarbonize aviation. We look forward to collaboratively working together on biofuels production scale-up, which is imperative to supporting the aviation industry to achieve its net-zero goals.”

Additionally, Raven SR’s goal is to generate as much of its own power onsite as possible to reduce reliance on the power grid and be independent of the grid. Its modular design provides a scalable means to locally produce renewable hydrogen and synthetic liquid fuels from local waste.

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European Commission establishes €3bn hydrogen bank

The new European Hydrogen Bank will guarantee the purchase of hydrogen, with a commitment of €3bn aimed at bridging the investment gap.

President of the European Commission (EC) Ursula von Der Leyen today announced the creation of a new European Hydrogen Bank aimed at bridging the hydrogen investment gap and connecting future supply and demand.

The new European Hydrogen Bank will guarantee the purchase of hydrogen using resources from the Innovation Fund, with an investment of €3 billion to help build the future market for hydrogen, von der Leyen said during the State of the Union address.

“And hydrogen can be a game changer for Europe. We need to move our hydrogen economy from niche to scale. With REPowerEU, we have doubled our 2030 target to produce ten million tons of renewable hydrogen in the EU, each year.

“To achieve this, we must create a market maker for hydrogen, in order to bridge the investment gap and connect future supply and demand. That is why I can today announce that we will create a new European Hydrogen Bank.

“It will help guarantee the purchase of hydrogen, notably by using resources from the Innovation Fund. It will be able to invest €3bn to help building the future market for hydrogen. This is how we power the economy of the future. This is the European Green Deal,” according to a transcript of her remarks.

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Waste-to-fuel firm retains advisors, plans California plant sale out of bankruptcy

A Canadian waste-to-fuel firm has retained bankers and is planning to conduct a sale of a state-of-the-art plant near Los Angeles.

Anaergia, an Ontario, Canada-based waste-to-fuels firm, has hired an advisor for a strategic review, and is planning to run a bankruptcy sale of its plant in Rialto, California.

Rialto Bioenergy, the Anaergia subsidiary that owns the plant, filed for bankruptcy in May, and is planning to conduct a sale with a milestone to consummate a transaction by April, 2024, according to bankruptcy documents.

Rialto is owned 51% by Anaergia and 49% by Igneo Infrastructure, a stake it acquired in 2020.

Anaergia meanwhile has retained Piper Sandler to conduct a strategic review of the company, citing management’s previous statements that it will need additional liquidity to continue as a going concern.

A source familiar with the matter said Piper Sandler will also advise on the Rialto asset sale, pending approval by parties to the Chapter 11 process. Representatives of Anaergia and Piper Sandler did not respond to requests for comment.

B. Riley Securities has also been retained as financial advisor and valuation consultant to the company, filings show.

Rialto Bioenergy’s bankruptcy, filed in the Southern District of California, was precipitated by a lack of feedstock available to the facility as a result of a delay in the implementation of organic waste diversion laws in Los Angeles. The delay caused insufficient revenues to cover Rialto’s costs and debt service, according to the company.

It owns a multi-feedstock bioenergy facility that converts organic waste into carbon-negative RNG, with the capability to also generate renewable electricity and fertilizer. The facility can process up to 1,000 tons per day of waste and convert it into up to 1,000,000 MMBtu per year of RNG.

In Chapter 11, Rialto reached an agreement for a $30m debtor-in-possession loan arranged by UMB Bank, a stipulation of which was to retain an investment banker to sell the waste facility. 

A final hearing for approval of the DIP loan is scheduled for October 16, while the motion to approve sale procedures will be heard at a hearing on October 30.

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Methane-to-value firm raises $28m

Windfall Bio, a provider of methane-to-value solutions, has raised $28m led by Prelude Ventures with participation from Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund and others.

Windfall Bio, a provider of methane-to-value solutions, announced its $28m Series A funding round led by Prelude Ventures with participation from Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, Global Brain (through its Norinchukin Innovation Fund L.P.), Incite Ventures, and Positive Ventures.

Existing investors also participated in the round, including B37 Ventures, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Mayfield, and UNTITLED (a fund backed by the Tetra Laval family), according to a news release.

Supporting its commercial pipeline, the new capital will enable Windfall to expand pilot deployments across methane intensive industries including agriculture, oil and gas, and waste management. Windfall will also invest resources to continue building out its team, manufacturing capacity and supply chain to meet growing global customer demand for methane mitigation solutions.

Windfall’s solution addresses methane emissions by capturing methane for a low, all-in cost while producing on-site, high quality fertilizer for customers to use or sell.

“While addressing methane emissions is the most impactful strategy available today to tackle near-term climate change, it has remained a critically underappreciated and underfunded problem for global warming, only recently gaining significant attention in climate discussions,” said Josh Silverman, co-founder and CEO of Windfall Bio. “However, methane represents an important resource that can create significant value for customers if they are given the right tools. We’ve seen early commercial traction and with the support of our strategic investors, Windfall will empower customers across industries to eliminate harmful methane emissions and create valuable outputs in return.”

Windfall’s nature-based solution harnesses methane-eating microbes—referred to as mems—that capture methane from any source while also capturing nitrogen from the air to produce organic fertilizer on customers’ sites. For agriculture and industrial customers, mems create value by improving soil health, enabling emissions tracking and reporting, improving resource efficiency, and generating new revenue streams from the sale of organic fertilizer.

Windfall exited stealth in March 2023 with a $9m seed raise. The Series A funding brings the company’s total fundraising amount to $37m and further validates the need and promise for its methane mitigation solution across multiple industries. The Series A builds on several milestones the company achieved in the last year, including building out its executive team and Board of Advisors to support Windfall’s go-to-market strategy

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Low-carbon tech company targeting hydrogen at 35 cents per kilogram

A North Carolina net-zero solutions company has plans to raise capital and is scouting for a location in the US Gulf Coast for its first clean hydrogen production facility.

8 Rivers Capital, the North Carolina net zero solutions company and technology commercialization platform, will need to raise capital and is scouting for a location in the US Gulf Coast for its first clean hydrogen production facility, Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder Bill Brown said on the sidelines of CERAWeek in Houston.

Brown declined to elaborate on the capital raise, but said he is well connected to finance from previous roles he held at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. The company received a $100m investment from South Korea-based SK Group last March.

8 Rivers has technology for power generation, hydrogen production, gas processing, and direct air capture. Through its involvement with affiliate Net Power, 8 Rivers has developed the Allam-Fetvedt Cycle, a power cycle that uses the oxy-combustion of carbon-based fuels and a high-pressure CO2 fluid in a highly recuperated cycle that captures emissions. Net Power was recently acquired in a SPAC deal with Rice Acquisition Corp. II, which valued the company at $1.459bn.

In hydrogen, 8 Rivers has developed 8RH2, a process to make hydrogen from natural gas that produces lower emissions and higher efficiencies, according to its website.

8 Rivers announced in November that it signed an MoU with Japan-based JX Nippon to evaluate the US Gulf Coast for “commercial-scale deployment of 8 Rivers technologies across ammonia and other net-zero projects, including potential projects using CO2-rich natural gas.”

Hydrogen at 35 cents?

Brown isn’t too concerned with the source, or color, of hydrogen. He’s much more concerned with the price per kilo, and says his goal is to make low or zero-carbon-intensity hydrogen without concern for its provenance.

“If we can get hydrogen at 35 cents, you would never build a new power plant, because you’ve got hydrogen cheap enough to use a traditional hydrogen turbine,” Brown said. “I can make the cheapest hydrogen from methane, or coal for that matter. I can’t make it from electricity without subsidy.”

Hydrogen at 35 cents is USD 3 per MMBtu, making it competitive with gas.

“One-dollar hydrogen, to me, is worthless,” he said. “Let’s face it, right now, we have one-dollar hydrogen in the world, not clean, but we have seen the full demand already.”

“8 Rivers does not want to be the company that says ‘here, take my technology,’” Brown said. “8 Rivers wants to be the company that says ‘come to us and we will give you the cheapest hydrogen and we’re agnostic as to where it came from, but we can tell you it’s green.’”

Target markets include customers that are blending hydrogen, Brown said. With USD 50bn of hydrogen assets already deployed in the US, he’s not concerned about offtake.

“It’s the system,” Brown said. “The system is the offtake.”

For ammonia, island nations in transition, commercial shipping and coal replacement all present large potential markets, Brown said. If ammonia can be produced at USD 100 per ton, it will be more competitive than coal as an export fuel.

But Brown is adamant that hydrogen blending in existing infrastructure presents the best and most immediate use for hydrogen.

“All it takes is offtake,” Brown said. “The easiest thing to do with hydrogen is not converting it to ammonia to ship it overseas with some supply contract, the easiest thing to do is put it in a pipeline.”

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Renewable hydrogen developer in exclusivity with strategic investor

A renewable hydrogen developer based in the western US is reaching the final stages of a capital raise with an investor in exclusivity.

NovoHydrogen, the Colorado-based renewable hydrogen developer, is in exclusivity with clean energy investment platform Modern Energy, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

ReSource reported in February that GreenFront Energy Partners was advising the company on a Series A.

NovoHydrogen CEO Matt McMonagle said previously that the company has about 30 projects in development in the US, ranging from a few megawatts to hundreds of megawatts. Its most active markets are the West coast, Northeast, Appalachia, Texas and the Rocky Mountains, though the company is not geographically constrained.

The company aims to begin construction on its first projects by the end of this year, the executive had said.

NovoHydrogen declined to comment. GreenFront and Modern Energy did not respond to requests for comment.

Modern Energy, a certified B-Corporation, recently put $90m into net metered solar developer Industrial Sun along with partner EIG. In 2020 EIG committed USD 100m to Modern Energy through a debt facility to fund the development of clean energy assets.

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Exclusive: Advanced Ionics raising $12.5m, seeking pilot project partners

Advanced Ionics, an electrolyzer developer based in the Midwest, is approaching a close on the second tranche of its Series A and is seeking sponsors for pilot projects in Texas and elsewhere.

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, the Milwaukee-based electrolyzer developer, is about six weeks out from closing a second tranche of its Series A and is seeking new partnerships for pilot projects in the US, Chief Commercial Officer Ignacio Bincaz told ReSource.

Bincaz, based in Houston, is working to close the second $12.5m tranche, which is roughly the same size as the first tranche. The company has technical teams in Wisconsin but could build out those as well as commercial capabilities in Houston.
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.

“We just put together our first stack, Generation One, which are 100 square centimeters,” Bincaz said. Generation Two stacks will come later this year, but to get to Generation Three — commercial size, producing between 7 and 16 tons per day — the company will have to conduct a Series B about one year from now.

“For that, we need to hit certain benchmarks on durability of a stack,” he said. “The money will go toward scaling up and getting the data expected by investors to get us to Series B.”

Aside from equity provisions, Advanced Ionics is looking for sponsors for pilots and related studies, Bincaz said. “There’s different ways that we’re looking for collaboration.”

Between 2027 and 2028 the company expects to have commercial-size Generation Three stacks in the market.

Pilot projects

Advanced Ionics has two pilot projects in development with Repsol Foundation and Arpa-E (US Department of Energy), respectively.

The Repsol project is a Generation One development producing 1 kilogram per day, Bincaz said. The government project will be the first Generation Two project.

Another pilot is in development with a large energy company that Bincaz declined to name. The company is also exploring pilot projects with bp, which is an investor in the company.

After four or so pilot projects of ascending scale, the company will look to do its first industrial-scale project using real process heat or steam, integrated into a hydrogen-use process like ammonia manufacturing or chemical refining.

“We’re talking to companies in Asia, companies in Europe, companies in the US,” he said, specifically naming Japan and Singapore. “I’m in early conversations.”

Advanced Ionics’ first tranche Series A was led by bp ventures, with participation from Clean Energy Ventures, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and GVP Climate.

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