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Aurora Hydrogen to develop low-cost hydrogen technology

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Global Hydrogen Review,

Aurora Hydrogen, a company developing emission-free, hydrogen production technology, has raised US$10 million in Series A funding led by Energy Innovation Capital. Participating investors include Williams, Shell Ventures, Chevron Technology Ventures and the George Kaiser Family Foundation. This funding adds to additional funding by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) that the team received earlier in 2022.

As the world looks to quickly decarbonise transportation and industry, hydrogen demand is expected to increase dramatically, from US$130 billion today to US$2.5 trillion in 2025, according to the Hydrogen Council. There is an urgent need to develop new low-cost and low-carbon technologies for hydrogen production. Aurora Hydrogen is scaling its proprietary and highly-efficient microwave pyrolysis technology to produce hydrogen and solid carbon without generating CO2 emissions or consuming water. Aurora's technology is highly scalable, with units that can supply a broad range of applications – from distributed fuelling to hydrogen injection and industrial processes.

Hydrogen production from the Aurora technology has the potential to significantly reduce global CO2 emissions by over 900 million tpy. Additionally, Aurora uses 80% less electricity than electrolysis, the conventional method of producing clean hydrogen, requiring far less electrical generation capacity per kg of hydrogen. And, unlike electrolysis, the process does not require water as a feedstock, preserving another critical and scarce resource.

"At Aurora, we are producing low-cost hydrogen at the point of use, at the exact scale required, and without generating any CO2," said Andrew Gillis, CEO, Aurora Hydrogen. "We use existing energy pipelines and distribution systems to move the energy, then produce hydrogen where it's needed, eliminating the need for any new costly hydrogen transportation infrastructure."

The recent funding will be used to build and operate a 200 kg/d hydrogen demonstration plant for field trials in Edmonton, Canada. Current hydrogen production is either expensive and distributed or low-cost and centralised, requiring additional costs to transport. Aurora's technology has the potential to unlock many new hydrogen markets and applications by providing low-cost hydrogen at the point of use, fast-tracking the path to decarbonisation in heavy transportation, residential and commercial heating, and many industrial processes.

"Energy Innovation Capital invests in innovative companies commercialising technology for clean, abundant and affordable energy for all," said Christopher Smith, Managing Director, Energy Innovation Capital. "Aurora's novel and thermodynamically sound approach has the opportunity to decarbonise the current carbon-intensive hydrogen industry and lead the commercialisation of new low-carbon hydrogen applications. The team at Aurora is uniquely positioned to produce hydrogen in one of the fastest, most economical and cleanest ways ever seen on the market."

Aurora Hydrogen's founding team is made up of Andrew Gillis, PhD, MBA, P.Eng, Erin Bobicki, PhD, P.Eng, and Murray Thomson, PhD, P.Eng. Andrew has spent over a decade in the development, scale-up, and commercialisation of clean technology in the natural resource industry; Erin is a world-leading expert in novel applications of microwave energy for industrial processes; and Murray is a world-leading expert in thermofluid reactions with a focus on combustion and pyrolysis.

"Aurora has assembled an impressive strategic investor syndicate to commercialise and scale emissions-free hydrogen that includes two of the world's largest energy companies and a leading US energy infrastructure company," added Smith. "Aurora can be a significant contributor to achieving global net zero targets and is very well aligned with EIC's focus on the future of energy, Chevron's commitment to industrial decarbonisation and energy decentralisation, Shell's strategy to invest in low carbon energy and Williams' hydrogen development programme. The syndicate provides Aurora a powerful commercialisation platform with global reach."

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