PyroGenesis Canada Inc. has announced the launch of a new zero-carbon emission hydrogen production technology, which is expected to compete with conventional technologies to produce environmentally friendly hydrogen.
PyroGenesis’ new hydrogen production technology is now entering a testing phase and is expected to convert methane (a GHG with a high global warming potential) to hydrogen, thereby creating a zero-carbon emission hydrogen. The conventional zero-carbon emission process, water electrolysis, is extremely expensive, requires a lot of energy and uses rare earth materials. The accumulation of GHGs in the atmosphere contributes to global warming. Under the Paris Agreement, 191 countries have committed to limit GHGs, while many territories, including the European Union, have committed to be carbon neutral by 2050.
“The conventional method to produce hydrogen is called “Steam Methane Reforming”, which produces GHGs as a result”, said P. Peter pascali, CEO and Chair of PyroGenesis. “Another technology used to produce hydrogen is called “Water Electrolysis”. It has been around for many years and is considered to be a zero-carbon emission technology. The hydrogen generated from this process is generally referred to as “Green Hydrogen”, however it is recognised to (i) be relatively expensive, (ii) require a lot of energy, and (iii) use rare earth materials.
PyroGenesis’ new technology is expected to combine the best of both worlds; it is expected to be cheaper than any existing hydrogen process while at the same time producing zero-carbon emission hydrogen. The hydrogen generated by this process is referred to as “Turquoise Hydrogen”.”
PyroGenesis has filed an international application No. PCT/CA2021/000099 with WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation) entitled, “Hydrogen production from hydrocarbons by plasma pyrolysis.” This PCT application covers the Company’s process for producing hydrogen from methane and other light hydrocarbons using thermal plasma without generating GHGs.
PyroGenesis’ technology boasts a theoretical electricity cost 3 times lower than that of water electrolysis to produce the same amount of hydrogen making it one of the most energy-efficient technologies to produce zero-carbon emission hydrogen.
The combustion of zero-carbon emission hydrogen for heating in industrial processes and in transportation generates water vapor as a combustion by-product, instead of carbon dioxide, thus reducing GHG emissions worldwide. As a result, many industrial processes are looking to replace fossil fuels and reactants such as coal, oil, and natural gas with zero-carbon emission hydrogen.
The Company does not expect that this new process would compete with its iron ore pelletisation offering where fossil fuel burners are replaced with plasma torches but, in fact, would complement these plasma torch offerings by providing a hydrogen alternative elsewhere in the manufacturing process.
“Filing our U.S. provisional patent application, along with the international PCT application is an important milestone as we move forward with launching a new method for producing zero-carbon emission hydrogen through an energy-efficient and reliable plasma process”, said Mr. Pierre Carabin, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Strategist of PyroGenesis. “There is a high demand for technologies that use clean renewable electricity…We believe our new proprietary hydrogen production process will be much more energy efficient, cost-effective and scalable than other forms of hydrogen production.”
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