Aug 1, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Canadian hydrogen startup raises $10 million

Illustration of the Earth as the center of a hydrogen atom.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Aurora Hydrogen, which aims to produce zero carbon hydrogen at the point of use, has raised a $10 million Series A funding round led by Energy Innovation Capital.

Why it matters: The Canadian company’s distributed technology, if successful, could allow hydrogen to make rapid inroads in hard-to-decarbonize sectors.

Zoom in: Aurora CEO Andrew Gillis tells Axios in an interview that the company’s technology relies on methane pyrolysis, which takes natural gas and uses microwaves to produce hydrogen and solid carbon, with no added carbon dioxide emissions in the process.

  • In contrast, other firms focused on using electrolyzers to produce hydrogen require large electricity inputs as well as carbon dioxide and water to produce clean hydrogen.
  • Aurora's methods also do not require infrastructure to transport the hydrogen it produces, since the facilities would be located where the hydrogen is needed.
  • "We think the real key to unlocking the say hydrogen economy is going to be producing hydrogen, where it's required at the scale required," Gillis says.

The intrigue: Two energy companies invested in Aurora Hydrogen via their VC arms: Shell Ventures and Chevron Technology Ventures. Other investors include Williams and the George Kaiser Family Foundation.

What's next: Gillis tells Andrew the company plans to build and operate a commercially viable demonstration plant that would produce 200 kilograms of hydrogen per day, at a plant in Edmonton, Alberta.

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