Cemvita Factory (“Cemvita”) announced multiple developments with its Gold Hydrogen business. After achieving a key milestone in microbe performance required to produce hydrogen at $1/kg in the lab, Cemvita successfully completed a field pilot program with positive results. Following successful field trial results, Cemvita has created a wholly owned subsidiary for the Gold Hydrogen business, Gold H2 LLC (“GH2”), and subsequently raised and closed funding into the entity, led by founding investors Chart Industries and 8090 Industries.
Cemvita defines Gold Hydrogen as the biological production of hydrogen in the subsurface through the consumption of trapped or abandoned resources. Gold Hydrogen is a novel source of carbon-neutral hydrogen produced from depleted oil reservoirs that are ready for plug and abandonment, extending the life of wells that would otherwise be a significant burden.
“We’ve long held a firm belief in the role biology can play in the energy industry,” said Rayyan Islam, Co-Founder, and General Partner at 8090 Industries. “8090 Industries is thrilled to be a founding investor in supporting Cemvita’s spin-out initiative Gold H2, which is a pioneering new dawn for the energy industry. We have incredible conviction in next-generation, clean hydrogen production methods that leverage the vast and sprawling existing infrastructure and know-how of the oil and gas industry. It turns out, this approach leads to the lowest possible cost of hydrogen production today and the largest players in the energy and industrial sector have taken serious notice.”
Cemvita scientists increased microbe performance by six and a half times the rate needed to produce hydrogen at $1/kg, a key milestone necessary to advance the program toward commercialization. The subsequent field trial was completed in the Permian basin with a partnering company, where the team successfully measured hydrogen concentrations three orders of magnitude above baseline.
“In a very short time frame, we moved our microbes from the lab to the field. The hydrogen production in this trial exceeded our expectations,” said Zach Broussard, Director of Gold H2 at Cemvita. “As we continue to use hydrogen-producing microbes downhole, we anticipate we can achieve rates that will translate to hydrogen production at $1/kg or less.”
Traditional methods of producing hydrogen without greenhouse gas emissions (green hydrogen) include electrolysis powered by renewable sources like wind, solar, or hydro. According to recent studies, the global green hydrogen market size was valued at USD 0.3 Billion in 2020. It is growing at a CAGR of 54.7% from 2021 to 2028 and is projected to reach USD 9.8 Billion by 2028.
Green hydrogen production, however, is energy intensive and expensive. According to a report from S&P Global Commodity Insights, “the cost of electrolytic hydrogen from renewable energy spiked as high as $16.80/kg in late July .” Because Cemvita plans to utilize existing infrastructure for thousands of depleted oil and gas wells to produce cheap, clean, carbon-free hydrogen, the technology has the potential to be transformational in the energy transition.
“Chart Industries is proud to partner with Cemvita on their Gold Hydrogen activities,” said Jill Evanko, Chart Industry’s CEO and President. “The commercialization and economics of the hydrogen economy will require technologies that produce the hydrogen molecule at a meaningful scale with no carbon emissions. Gold H2 is leading the charge, and we are thrilled with the results of their successful field trial.”
Following successful milestones in the lab and in preparation for commercialization, Cemvita elected to create Gold H2 as a way to commercialize the business through a mixture of licensing, JV structures, and outright ownership of hydrogen-producing assets. Charles Nelson, Chief Business Officer of Cemvita, says, “By deploying the business through the flexible subsidiary route, we can effectively maximize the commercial value of the program back to the parent company, Cemvita, through both licensing and enterprise value growth.”
Cemvita Factory is on a mission to reimagine heavy industries such as oil & gas and mining for a net-zero economy. This is done through the sustainable extraction of natural resources, carbon-negative production of chemicals, and closed-loop renewal of waste as feedstock.
Visit www.cemvitafactory.com for more information.
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