C-Zero targets clean hydrogen from natural gas


C-Zero is aiming to “bridge the gap” between existing natural gas infrastructure and a low carbon future after raising $11.5mn (£8.25mn).

In early February, it announced the results of a Series A funding round, co-led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Eni Next, with participation from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and AP Ventures. It will now use the funds to move from lab tests to its first pilot-scale production facility for its drop-in decarbonisation technology, allowing industrial natural gas consumers to avoid producing CO2 in applications such as electrical generation, process heating and the production of commodity chemicals.

Initially developed at the University of California, the technology uses thermocatalysis to split methane into hydrogen and solid carbon in a process called methane pyrolysis. The hydrogen being produced from this process is increasingly being referred to as turquoise hydrogen, it noted, which combines the benefits of both blue and green hydrogen owed to being low cost and low emissions.

The hydrogen can then be used to decarbonise a range of existing applications, including hydrogen production for fuel cell vehicles, with the carbon permanently sequestered. Furthermore, if renewable natural gas is used as feedstock, then C-Zero said its technology can be carbon negative.