A Multi-product approach
A Plant Model for Low-Cost Green Hydrogen
Hydrogen is an immense global commodity. Nearly 100 million metric tons of hydrogen are used every year, and that number is expected to steadily rise. While this is great for the hydrogen industry, it isn’t great for global emissions. Approximately 830 million tons of carbon dioxide are emitted every year from hydrogen production, which still heavily relies on natural gas. For this reason, it is vital that hydrogen production go green.
At GenHydro, we are aiming to play a key role in increasing global green hydrogen production capacity, which is currently very low. With the cost of electrolysis (the primary method for green hydrogen production today) remaining quite high, the overwhelming demand for hydrogen is still falling to high carbon-emitting methods. The GenHydro™ method utilizes a reactant-based system, meaning it doesn’t require electrical inputs, but instead relies on the stored energy in elements that are highly reactive in water. This means that our process does not rely at all on fossil or carbon-based fuels, and therefore is a zero-emissions hydrogen production technology.
Our reactors also produce another product known as an advanced ceramic powder. This is a non-toxic, highly valuable, and in-demand material with an ever-growing list of applications. Advanced ceramics are used in electronics, high hardness, and heat resistant glass, water filtration systems, abrasives, protective coatings, construction, and much more. The overall market value is over $4 billion and continues to grow as electronics and other applications are seeing major increases in demand.
At GenHydro™, we are able to produce a variety of advanced ceramic materials, such as hydrous and anhydrous powders, in multiple particle size ranges, and having high levels of purity. This material currently has a very high price, but we believe that at scale we can bring down the price of this material, allowing more manufacturers to get the benefits of advanced ceramics in their products, without having the currently prohibitive increase in production cost.
The reaction that occurs in our systems is known as an exothermic reaction. This means that there is heat energy released from the process as opposed to heat energy being consumed (endothermic). We don’t just allow this released heat to dissipate, but we make use of this energy for the cogeneration of electrical power in addition to the hydrogen. Our hydrothermal (GEN2) reactor reaches temperatures and pressures high enough to produce quality steam that can be run through a steam turbine. With the outputs of multiple reactor systems, the size of the turbine can be increased as the reactor outputs are increased by the addition of successive reactors. Our promoter system (GEN1) produces a lower amount of heat and pressure but is still capable of running small generators with capacities of around 150 kilowatts.
Why We Don’t Only Offer Green Hydrogen
Green hydrogen is not just an in-demand product, but it is a necessary one. The main issues facing green hydrogen today are that electrolyzers are still expensive to manufacture, and electrolysis also requires some form of renewable energy to run if the hydrogen produced is to be considered green. This adds a significant amount of expense when getting set up for electrolysis. At GenHydro™, we set out to find an alternative to electrolysis that still produces emissions-free hydrogen but is much lower in manufacturing and construction cost, doesn’t require major buildouts of solar or wind, and can also provide low-cost green hydrogen today.
This mission lead us to our multi-product approach. From the very beginning, we have seen the ability to offer multiple products as a means to having flexibility on hydrogen pricing. If the same reaction process can result in more than one output, this means that the pricing of the products can be sliced in multiple ways, as long as the operation is profitable in the end. Our production costs are not entirely attributable to any one product that we offer but to our entire portfolio of products as a whole. This means that we can offer low-cost green hydrogen now and still be more profitable than if we just sold green hydrogen for top dollar.
While our approach is certainly unique, there are other hydrogen producers utilizing a similar model (e.g. methane-pyrolysis), and we believe that this is the only approach that can get low-cost hydrogen to the industries that need it, and sooner rather than later.