Spain-based hydrogen solutions start-up H2SITE announced that it has raised EUR 12.5 million (USD 13m) in Series A funding round to quicken the scale up of its integrated membrane and membrane separation technologies and boost manufacturing capabilities in northern Spain.
The round was led by Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV), joined by Equinor Ventures, Engie New Ventures, Spanish private research centre Tecnalia and institutional investors from Spain’s Basque Country region where H2SITE is headquartered.
The start-up offers membrane reactors and membrane separators that can recover fuel-cell purity hydrogen from ammonia or methanol cracking and enable hydrogen transport using existing natural gas infrastructure.
The advanced membrane reactors were developed 13 years ago by Tecnalia and the Technical University of Eindhoven, who combined special membranes with single-process-step reactors to produce on-site, low-cost renewable hydrogen. Crigen, the research and development entity of French energy group Engie SA (EPA:ENGI), contributed to the development of the commercial version of the reactor. Intellectual property rights were later transferred to the newly-established H2SITE to commercialise the technology, the start-up said of its beginnings.
H2SITE says its double skin inorganic membranes can both crack hydrogen carriers and separate the hydrogen from blends in natural gas infrastructure or purify it in dedicated hydrogen infrastructure.
“While much focus is given to hydrogen generation cost reduction, less attention is given to reduction of hydrogen transport cost. Transporting hydrogen is a complex task, it being a small molecule that is difficult to contain. The current compression, storage, decompression, and transport solutions are both economically and environmentally inefficient”, commented Andres Galnares, H2SITE’s CEO.
The firm says it has recently been awarded a number of commercial projects, including transforming ammonia into hydrogen for the bus fleet in Birmingham, England, biogas into hydrogen for refuelling stations in Spain and France, and several separation projects from hydrogen-gas blends in the gas transport infrastructure that are under construction.
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.04)
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