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Exclusive: Ammonia maker Starfire Energy nets $24M, led by Samsung

Nov 1, 2022
Illustration of a large gas tank and ammonia molecules made from quarters.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Starfire Energy, a Denver-based startup that makes parts for ammonia manufacturers, has raised $24 million in Series B funding, the company exclusively tells Axios.

Why it matters: Upstream company's like Starfire are attracting investors as demand for clean energy manufacturing grows, and as the processes become more complex.

Details: Samsung Ventures led the round and will gain a board seat as part of the deal.

  • The round included a convertible note upon closure, CEO Joe Beach tells Axios. Beach declined to disclose the round's valuation.

How it works: Starfire Energy makes modules for ammonia production plants that can adjust the energy needed to account for variable power sources like solar and wind.

  • It is also developing a second module that is able to "crack" ammonia into hydrogen and nitrogen using renewable energy and molecules in a circular production cycle.
  • Starfire is working on its third prototype of its initial module for ammonia production and is looking at producing the modules at commercial size by the end of 2023 or early 2024, Beach says.

State of play: So-called green ammonia is on investors' radar as a potential alternative fuel for several forms of fossil fuels. But the production of ammonia often relies on traditional power, making it far from green.

  • It also requires transportation of hydrogen, which is complex and energy intensive.
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