Mar 2, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Exclusive: Green hydrogen company raises $11 million in Series A

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

H2U Technologies, a green hydrogen startup, has raised an $11 million Series A funding round led by Jericho Energy Ventures, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The company aims to avoid using rare and expensive platinum group metals, such as palladium, to produce hydrogen gas.

  • The firm, headquartered in a new, 25,000-square-foot facility in Chatsworth, California, has developed low-cost electrolyzers it hopes will provide the means to produce green hydrogen at a lower cost than competitors.
  • Its technology was developed largely at Caltech, using funding from Energy Department, said H2U Technologies president and CEO Mark McGough, in an interview.

How it works: Green hydrogen is powered by renewable energy, and is viewed as a way to power ships and cars, or even use in power plants currently using natural gas.

  • It is also viewed as a potentially key technology for storing energy, which could help provide a steady supply of power to the electricity grid despite the variability of some renewable sources, like wind and solar.
  • An electrolyzer combines water and electricity, along with a catalyst-coated membrane surface, to separate out the hydrogen and oxygen in water and produce hydrogen gas and oxygen gas, McGough said in an interview.
  • H2U’s advantages, he said, center on what it uses as catalysts, which are substances that enhance chemical reactions.
  • The company has also developed an AI system to discover new catalysts that don’t involve platinum group metals, which are limited in quantity and costly.

What they're saying: “Our products can be used to be stacked up and used to take all of the output of curtailed renewable resources and generate hydrogen, store it and use it later to generate electricity or use it for industrial processes," McGough told Axios.

  • “H2U’s cutting-edge technology will play an integral role in accelerating the production and deployment of clean hydrogen to advance the energy transition," said Brian Williamson, CEO of Jericho Energy Ventures, in a statement.

Flashback: Last year, H2U inked a strategic partnership with SoCalGas, which announced plans to replace up to 25% of their natural gas with clean hydrogen.

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