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Clean hydrogen has an iridium problem

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17 October 2022

 

In the October issue of Hydrogen Tech World, our Director of Government Affairs, Dr. Katherine Rinaldi discusses the pivotal role of Proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzers in the developing clean hydrogen economy. PEM electrolyzers can produce hydrogen from water and renewable electricity. They also typically rely on one of the rarest materials on earth to function: iridium. To scale this technology to meet rising demand for clean energy, the hydrogen community must develop solutions to address this scarcity problem. Read the article.

HydrogenNowCast Presents Podcast 63 – Hydrogen and the Rise of non-PGM Catalysts with Dr. Katherine Rinaldi

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14 October 2022

Colorado Hydrogen Network's Brian DeBruine interviewed our Kat Rinaldi, H2U Director of Government Affairs to examine low-cost alternatives to the Platinum Group Metals used in today's electrolyzers. They discuss how H2U Technologies is analyzing and making sense of all these alternatives and looking at ways to bring some of these to commercial production. Listen on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

Exclusive: H2U Technologies' CEO on its solution to costly electrolyser catalysts

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By Charlie Currie, H2View

22 September 2022

In the ever-progressing green hydrogen industry, the cost of electrolysers is a topic that flares its head regularly. With supplies of iridium, a key catalyst for the technology, ever dwindling and prices continually rising, California, US-based H2U Technologies believes it could have a key solution to the issue.

 

Having pioneered its Catalysts Discovery Engine, which promises to have found cheaper alternatives to iridium, the company is looking to commercialise its electrolyser design which it believes could aid the hydrogen economy in reaching its full potential.

 

H2 View caught up with Mark McGough, CEO of H2U Technologies to learn more about its novel technology, and how it could establish itself as a key player within the industry. 

 

H2 View (H2V): Thank you for speaking to H2 View. To get the ball rolling, could you give our readers an overview of H2U Technologies?

 

Mark McGough (MM): The foundation of H2U is our catalyst discovery capability. That was developed over a ten-year period when a group of California Institute of Technology scientists received around $120m of US Department of Energy (DOE) funding to develop what we now refer to as the Catalyst Discovery Engine or CDE for short...

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H2U Technologies could revolutionize PEM electrolyzers

By Bogdan Avramuta

10 August 2022

H2U Technologies, a California based start-up, claims to be on the verge of revolutionizing the Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolyzer game with its AI driven Catalyst Discovery Engine (CDE).

The tool, comprised of an AI component and hardware, is the work of a team of scientists from the California Institute of Technology. The institute has been granted $122 million back in 2011 in order to develop the CDE. Fast forward 10 years and in 2021 H2U has taken shape and is now using the technology under an exclusive licensing deal, with the core team that created the CDE among its employees.

A vast number of companies are spending their resources on finding a replacement for the expensive PGM (Platinum Group of Metals) catalyst and numerous research papers seem to come up with ideas that can solve this issue, even if just on paper, but no one is ready yet to fully divulge how for commercial reasons.

In describing the CDE, CEO Mark McGough used a rather compelling analogy. In the same way that NASA can use the Hubble Telescope to look at stars rather than using binoculars, he claims that H2U has an unfair advantage over its competitors. By aiming the CDE at the most promising array of chemical elements, the team can analyse different mixtures of elements subjected to different types of chemical processes that are deposited in a slurry format on an electrically conductive substrate. This high capability throughput process of testing different samples constitutes the core advantage that H2U seem to possess.

The well-known dependence of PEM electrolyzers on the PGM has been the biggest reason for which green hydrogen believers have been looking at alternatives. PGM are not only expensive, but they are also currently produced in low volumes.

McGough also argues that H2U will be able to offer a capex (capital expenditure) light electrolyzer for this novel, low-cost, non-iridium design to businesses in the green hydrogen production industry, which paired with intermittent renewables minimizes the LCOH (Levelized Cost of Hydrogen) for green hydrogen production.

The total capacity of electrolysis is expected to reach around 3 terawatts by 2050 and thus the availability of an affordable and efficient electrolyzer design composed of easily accessible and abundant materials will play a key role in enabling the ever-growing hydrogen industry. Sectors like aviation, transportation, steel manufacturing and many more will guarantee an increase in demand for green hydrogen, so the pressure is mounting on the supply side to deliver.

After raising $11 million through a Series A funding round earlier this year, H2U partnered up with De Nora, an Italian designer and manufacturer of electrodes, through a Joint Development Agreement in order to test a non-PGM catalyst developed by the American company. According to a press release, the tests ran by De Nora returned positive results which marks a significant milestone in H2U’s catalyst discovery process.

The goalpost will keep moving though, claims McGough. It’s not about discovering one solution that will reduce the cost of PEM electrolyzers and then move on, it’s about constantly improving the efficiency of the system. Thus, the partnership with De Nora seems like the first step towards commercialization.

Later this year, H2U will take part in a Series B funding round that will aim to facilitate their plans for 2023 when the firm will look to bring forward a proof-of-concept product for which companies can register interest in and make reservations for.

The proof of concept will help H2U gather feedback, test results and data that will allow its engineers to improve and finalize the design ahead of its final form as a commercial product.

In order to meet demand by 2050, electrolysis will have to take a couple of steps forward and even though H2U appears to be ready to tackle the long-term uphill battle against global warming with innovative design methods, overall cost is still the hindering disadvantage that electrolysis needs to fix.

Cleantech Expert Tom Werner Named Chairman of H2U as Company Advances Commercialization of New Green Hydrogen Technology

H2U applies world’s fastest catalyst-discovery capability to new Iridium-free electrolyzer designs

Los Angeles, CA – June 8, 2022 – H2U Technologies, Inc. (H2U), the developer of new energy technologies to produce green hydrogen, today appointed clean energy veteran Tom Werner as Chairman of the Board. Werner spent 18 years on the front lines of the solar revolution as CEO of SunPower, and has more than 25 years of experience leading disruptive technology and energy organizations.

“Tom is an excellent fit to lead our Board as we advance into the commercialization phase of H2U’s unique technology,” said Mark McGough, CEO and President of H2U Technologies. “As the demand for green hydrogen accelerates, H2U electrolyzer designs will solve an important problem, by producing low-cost hydrogen without the need for rare and expensive iridium catalysts. This is new technology, and Tom and I both have extensive experience in commercializing new energy technologies.”

Before joining SunPower, Werner was CEO at Silicon Light Machines, Inc., and VP and general manager of the Business Connectivity Group of 3Com Corp. Werner also serves on the boards of Wolfspeed Inc., Addenerrgie, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, and the University of Wisconsin College of Engineering Industrial Advisory Board, and the Marquette University Board of Trustees.

H2U is developing technologies that dramatically reduce the cost of green hydrogen, accelerating the species-changing movement of clean energy production.  

“With hydrogen gaining momentum as the next fast-developing clean energy market, H2U’s electrolyzer designs are uniquely positioned to reduce the cost and enable the scaling of green hydrogen,” said Werner, chairman of H2U. “My experience at SunPower, where we pioneered and scaled the industry’s highest efficiency solar products, is directly applicable to H2U’s commercialization roadmap.”

About H2U Technologies, Inc.
H2U Technologies is a developer of new catalysts used for the electrolysis of water into hydrogen. The company also develops PEM electrolyzers using these catalysts. The world-class technology featured in H2U Technologies' products is based on 10 years of research and development at Caltech, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.  For more information, visit h2utechnologies.com.

Press Contact:

Michelle Moody

michelle@moodypr.com

+1.214.363.3460

H2U Announces New Chief Commercial Officer: David Martin, an Expert in Green Hydrogen Product Development and Commercialization

H2U Partner De Nora Confirms Success of H2U's New Non-platinum Group Metal (PGM) Catalyst for Low-Cost Green Hydrogen Production via Water Electrolysis

H2U to commercialize low-cost, iridium-free electrolyzers

LOS ANGELES, May 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- H2U Technologies, Inc. (H2U), a developer of new energy technologies to produce green hydrogen, today announced it has named hydrogen energy veteran David Martin as its new Chief Commercial Officer. Martin is a professional engineer with a 30+ year track record of innovation at global organizations with a focus on commercializing early-stage water and energy technologies.

"I recruited David for his decades of hydrogen product development experience, to help H2U commercialize our low-cost green hydrogen electrolyzer that overcomes reliance on rare earth materials like iridium," said Mark McGough, CEO and President of H2U Technologies. "David will lead the H2U products effort with a focus first on electrolyzer product development, as we move ambitiously from proof of concept to commercially available products."

Martin has extensive product development and technology leadership experience at hydrogen companies including Ballard Europe, Electric Hydrogen and Stuart Energy Systems (acquired by Hydrogenics, now part of Cummins).

"The market for low-carbon energy is growing massively and I am pleased to join H2U to develop products and services that enable oil, gas and renewable power companies to advance their decarbonization plans with hydrogen," said Martin. "Mixing water and high-power electricity together is not easy but H2U is building a world-class team to tackle the next era of renewably-powered electrolyzers.

McGough continued, "adding top electrolyzer talent is instrumental as we demonstrate that our catalyst technologies reduce the cost of green hydrogen, accelerating the species-changing movement of clean energy production."

About H2U Technologies, Inc.
H2U Technologies is a developer of new catalysts used for the electrolysis of water into hydrogen. The company also develops PEM electrolyzers using these catalysts. The world-class technology featured in H2U Technologies' products is based on 10 years of research and development at Caltech, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.  For more information, visit h2utechnologies.com.

Press Contact:
Nneka Etoniru
FTI Consulting
P: +1 (332) 213-7903
nneka.etoniru@fticonsulting.com

SOURCE H2U Technologies

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H2U Technologies Announces Joint Development Agreement with Leading Supplier of Catalyst Coated Membranes for Green Hydrogen Production

H2U Partner De Nora Confirms Success of H2U's New Non-platinum Group Metal (PGM) Catalyst for Low-Cost Green Hydrogen Production via Water Electrolysis

LOS ANGELES, March 29, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- De Nora and H2U Technologies Inc. announced today their Joint Development Agreement (JDA) to examine the viability of newly identified non-platinum group metal (PGM) catalysts for green hydrogen production. Through their partnership, De Nora will help bring H2U's innovative, earth-abundant catalysts to the electrolyzer market. These new catalysts will fill a critical gap in the development of low-cost green hydrogen, decreasing a significant cost barrier to growing the hydrogen value chain and promoting the energy transition.

De Nora has also confirmed new success with a non-platinum group metal (PGM) catalyst identified by H2U for green hydrogen production, marking a significant milestone in H2U's catalyst discovery efforts. H2U's electrocatalyst compounds for OER and HER reactions show viability for low-cost, scalable green hydrogen production by eliminating PGM in water electrolysis.

H2U Non-PGM Catalysts

H2U Technologies boasts the world's most advanced, effective technology and systems for discovering and developing new non-PGM electrocatalysts composed of earth-abundant elements. Low-cost electrocatalysts are key components for use in water electrolysis to generate green hydrogen that drives the Hydrogen Economy. Such technology innovations include H2U Technologies' proprietary systems for high-throughput screening of compositions to determine catalytic activity.

De Nora Water Electrolysis

With almost a century of technical leadership, De Nora is a world leader in developing and manufacturing electrodes for almost every industrial electrolysis application and is serving the largest OEMs of water electrolysis equipment and plants globally.  De Nora and H2U formed a partnership a year ago to exploit H2U's proprietary Catalyst Discovery Engine™ system in order to discover and develop revolutionary electrocatalysts for hydrogen production via water electrolysis. 

Green Hydrogen and the Energy Transition

"Green Hydrogen" is the new highly anticipated energy carrier for decarbonizing the global economy. It is produced from renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, and Alkaline and PEM electrolyzers, which produce hydrogen, are ideally suited for pairing with such highly variable resources.

Hydrogen offers the ability to store renewable energy across months and seasons, as well as the ability to serve as a carbon-free fuel for heavy transportation such as ships, aircraft, trains and trucks. H2U's proprietary low-cost catalysts are designed to substantially reduce electrolyzer CAPEX requirements, especially in the coming years, where highly constrained sources of PGM materials will lead to shortages and remarkable price increases, presenting a major barrier to a rapid energy transition. 

"We are excited to undertake this opportunity with H2U Technologies," said Christian Urgeghe, Chief Technology Officer of De Nora. "PGM catalysts – specifically platinum and iridium – present a major chokepoint in the evolution of the Hydrogen Economy. We need to replace these expensive, rare materials with earth abundant compounds so that our electrolysis customers can scale their businesses, and H2U Technologies has a credible approach to accomplish this important goal."   

"We are fortunate to be working with a partner like De Nora - a global leader in catalytic coatings and Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEAs) for electrolysis – to bring our low-cost earth abundant catalysts to the hydrogen electrolyzer market," said Mark McGough, CEO and President of H2U Technologies. "We look forward to continued collaboration and partnership with De Nora in our mission to reduce the cost and enable global scaling of green hydrogen."   

About Industrie De Nora Spa. www.denora.com
De Nora is a global supplier of innovative technologies and solutions and is recognized as a partner of choice for important industrial electrochemical processes. Since its foundation in 1923, De Nora is driven by the philosophy of continual improvement by way of developing and manufacturing electrodes and electrochemical systems. The Company offers advanced disinfection and filtration technologies to solve problems related to municipal and industrial water treatment. De Nora is committed to the development of unconventional solutions to achieve energy transition to decarbonization and clean water for everyone. Worldwide over 1,600 employees work together dynamically, sharing knowledge to achieve a sustainable future.

About H2U Technologies, Inc.
H2U Technologies is a developer of new catalysts used for the electrolysis of water into hydrogen and oxygen. The company also develops a grid-scale PEM electrolyzer, the Gramme 50. The technology underpinning H2U Technologies' products is based on 10 years of research and development funded by the U.S. Department of Energy through Caltech's Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP). For more information, visit h2utechnologies.com.

Press Contact:
Nneka Etoniru
FTI Consulting
P: +1 (332) 213-7903
nneka.etoniru@fticonsulting.com

SOURCE H2U Technologies

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Clean Hydrogen Technology Developer Will Use Proceeds from Follow-on Offering to Build the World's Fastest Electrocatalyst Discovery Process and Disruptive PEM Electrolyzer

LOS ANGELES, March 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- H2U Technologies, Inc. (H2U), the developer of new energy technologies to produce green hydrogen, closed an oversubscribed $11 million Series A funding round with leading venture capital and energy firms, led by Jericho Energy Ventures (Jericho)(TSXV:JEV)(Frankfurt:JLM0)(OTC PINK:JROOF), Freeflow Ventures (Freeflow), VoLo Earth Ventures (VoLo), and Hess Corporation (Hess)(NYSE:HES).

H2U raised a $7M first tranche of Series A financing in 2021, which was co-led by Jericho, Hess, Dolby Family Ventures and Motus Ventures.

"H2U has discovered abundant, low-cost catalysts for green hydrogen production, replacing rare, expensive PGMs. Coupled with H2U's novel, low-cost electrolyzer design, we and our partners will produce least-cost green hydrogen, so we are thrilled to have such support from new and existing investors," said Mark McGough, President and CEO of H2U.

"We are excited to have H2U in our portfolio of businesses," said Brian Williamson, CEO of Jericho Energy Ventures. "H2U's cutting-edge technology will play an integral role in accelerating the production and deployment of clean hydrogen to advance the energy transition. We look forward to partnering with H2U and providing the necessary resources to build upon its differentiated product offering."

Proceeds from the deal will be used for the advancement of H2U's innovative electrolyzer designs and to commission the build of its proprietary Catalyst Discovery Engine™ (CDE). The CDE is one million times faster than traditional catalyst discovery processes and uses artificial intelligence to identify non-PGM (Platinum Group Metals) PEM catalysts.

The Big Picture

Due to the rapidly growing demand for clean hydrogen and the use of rare earth metals in many forms of clean hydrogen production and utilization, most expect demand for rare earths to increase dramatically in the coming decades. To prevent shortages in critical materials that would interfere with today's primary pathway for clean hydrogen production, the industry needs to materially reduce or fully eliminate its reliance on expensive, finite and singly sourced rare earth metals. This is now a widely known issue – the DOE recently identified through its Clean Hydrogen Electrolysis Program that fundamental research will be required to replace non-precious metal electrocatalysts facilitating the advancement of hydrogen production technologies.

Reliance on rare and precious metals such as iridium dramatically increases the cost of PEM electrolysis, and ultimately the cost of green hydrogen. However, H2U's CDE can identify earth-abundant alternative catalysts at a rate one million times faster than known industry methods, unlocking a critical barrier to PEM water electrolysis scalability and maximizing the production of ultra-low-cost clean hydrogen. H2U will leverage this unique platform by developing its own non-precious metal-based PEM electrolyzer for widespread commercial adoption.

Partners and Investors Weigh In

David Fleck, Founder and Managing Partner of Freeflow, states, "This investment underscores our commitment to back the visionary companies with roots at Caltech that are solving complex problems in human and planetary health. By embracing technological disruption, H2U is paving the road toward net zero emissions."

"We (VoLo Earth Ventures) are tremendously pleased to join the H2U team," Eric Riesenberg, Managing Partner of VoLo and newly appointed board director at H2U, said. "VoLo's fund is dedicated to decarbonization and new energy investments and was impressed by H2U due to its great management team and highly differentiated low-cost approach to generating green hydrogen through PEM water electrolysis." 

"H2U is leading the way in developing the technologies that are needed to advance the global energy transition. We are pleased to make this investment to further accelerate H2U's remarkable innovation in the hydrogen space," said Tim Goodell, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Hess.

"Under McGough's leadership, H2U has hired an enviable staff of scientists and engineers working to create a step change in the pace of global decarbonization efforts," said Tom Werner, H2U's Chairman of the Board. "H2U's innovative work to identify new catalysts that significantly reduce costs – as was done for solar – is imperative to scaling green hydrogen production to a level that will allow the world meet its carbon reduction goals."

A Track Record of Success

In 2021, H2U announced a strategic partnership with SoCalGas, the largest natural gas distributor in the U.S, who recently announced plans to replace up to 25% of their natural gas with clean hydrogen, requiring 10 to 20 GW worth of electrolysis capacity. The pair have partnered to pilot H2U's novel PEM electrolyzer – the Gramme 50™ (G50) – which features breakthrough sub-component innovations to enable low-cost green hydrogen production. 

"Innovations that make green hydrogen production more cost-effective and scalable are critical to providing clean, safe and reliable energy for the nearly 22 million Californians we serve while reaching our net-zero emissions goal," said Neil Navin, SoCalGas vice president of clean energy innovations. "Partnering with H2U Technologies will provide meaningful advancements that aim to move this important technology forward."

H2U headquarters are located in a 25,000 square foot facility in Chatsworth, CA.

About H2U Technologies, Inc.
H2U Technologies is a developer of new catalysts used to start or speed up the electrolysis of water into hydrogen and oxygen. The company also produces a grid-scale PEM electrolyzer, the Gramme 50. The technology underpinning H2U Technologies' products is based on 10 years of research and development funded by the U.S. Department of Energy through Caltech's Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP).

 

For more information, visit h2utechnologies.com

 

Contact:

Angela Fuller

Angela.fuller@h2utechnologies.com

Press Contact:
Nneka Etoniru
FTI Consulting
P: +1 (332) 213-7903
nneka.etoniru@fticonsulting.com

SOURCE H2U Technologies

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H2U Technologies Announces New CEO to Lead Commercialization of PGM-free PEM Electrolyzers for Green Hydrogen Production

Mark McGough joins H2U Technologies, Inc. as CEO and President.

December 20, 2021 05:21 PM Eastern Standard Time

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--H2U Technologies, Inc. (H2U) announced today that Mark McGough has joined the company as President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. McGough has a long and successful track record commercializing new energy technologies, including introduction of the ultracapacitor as a new class of energy storage technology while President of Maxwell’s Advanced Energy Storage business, and as CEO and commercialization leader of fast growth startups like Ioxus, Energetics and Pentadyne Power.

H2U is developing the world’s lowest cost PEM electrolyzer, the Gramme50, designed specifically for producing the lowest levelized cost green hydrogen, to enable scaling of the Hydrogen Economy. H2U’s key enabling technologies for achieving and maintaining low CAPEX are H2U’s proprietary low cost earth abundant non-PGM catalysts, and its disruptive PEM design which allows for easy upgrades to the catalyst/MEA as H2U continuously improves it’s Platinum and Iridium replacements.

“Green Hydrogen” is the new highly anticipated energy source for decarbonizing the global economy. Green hydrogen is made from renewable energy sources like solar and wind generation, and PEM electrolyzers, which produce hydrogen, are ideally suited for pairing with such resources. Green hydrogen offers the ability to inexpensively store renewable electricity at grid scale for long periods of time, as well as the ability to serve as a carbon free fuel for heavy transportation such as ships, aircraft, trains and trucks – a clear advantage over battery storage.

"I am thrilled to join H2U Technologies - the best science team in this business – and equally excited to lead commercialization of the unique H2U catalyst and electrolyzer product sets that address a key barrier to scaling the Hydrogen Economy," said Mark McGough, the new President and CEO of H2U Technologies. “H2U has the world’s fastest electrocatalyst discovery capability, and we have already demonstrated the ability to produce hydrogen with full replacement of expensive iridium catalyst materials. Also, H2U’s novel low cost electrolyzer design, fitted with our new PGM-free catalysts, will begin customer demonstrations in mid 2022.”

CalTech Professor and H2U Co-Founder Nathan Lewis adds, "I couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Mark onto our team. I founded H2U with the vision of a clean energy future, and we have just hired a highly successful, proven executive with the experience and capabilities to lead us to a realization of that vision."

About H2U Technologies, Inc.

H2U Technologies is a developer of new catalysts used for the electrolysis of water into hydrogen and oxygen. The company also develops a grid-scale PEM electrolyzer, the Gramme 50. The technology underpinning H2U Technologies' products is based on 10 years of research and development funded by the U.S. Department of Energy through Caltech's Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP). For more information, visit h2utechnologies.com.

Contact:

Angela Fuller

Angela.fuller@h2utechnologies.com

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Jericho Energy Ventures Co-Leads Investment into Hydrogen Catalyst Discovery Platform

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SoCalGas and H2U Technologies Partner to Test New Technology that May Make Green Hydrogen at Dramatically Lower Cost

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SoCalGas and H2U Technologies trail new technology to produce green hydrogen at low costs