Graforce deploys plasmalysis to turn LNG into hydrogen
German energy tech startup Graforce says it has a method for producing hydrogen from LNG, and believes the product can be shipped to Europe to support the EU's green goals.
Graforce's technology is known as a plasmalysis, which involves using a high-frequency plasma field powered by renewable electricity. The plasmalyser splits hydrocarbons into their constituent molecules, hydrogen and solid carbon, meaning the operator can produce hydrogen without having to deal with gaseous CO2, as they would if using steam methane reforming.
Graforce said it was gathering support for its business model having delivered two pilot implementations of its product in Berlin and Brandenburg.
Once converted, the hydrogen would be used as clean fuel, while the carbon could be used to enhance materials such as steel, cement, or soil. Graforce's technology can also decarbonise liquefied petroleum gas.
The startup is touting the benefits to EU policy makers scrambling to resolve the continent's energy security woes. Additional LNG from exporters in North Africa and the US are likely to increase as Russia's market share wanes, but this LNG could be converted in hydrogen at a later stage as the bloc progresses towards its net-zero ambition.
With an eye on this market opportunity, Graforce says it aims to secure investment partnerships to scale its hydrogen production technology.
A further three plasmalyser implementations are set to be delivered by 2022-end. These include a methane plasmalyser for decarbonising natural gas in an Austrian oil refinery, and two heating-oriented installations in Germany set to power a decentralised energy access for a hotel and German urban district.
The business model is the brainchild of Graforce founder and chief technology officer Dr Jens Hanke, who has over 16 years of expertise in Berlin's startup scene. Hanke previously held positions with Cleantech, a laser environmental tech developer, and Robotic Solutions which builds robotic systems for maintaining public security at massive events such as multi-venue sports contests.