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SUMMARY

Advocates for turquoise hydrogen say it uses less energy and can be produced where it is needed using existing infrastructure.

By Joseph Murphy

UK turquoise hydrogen start-up HiiROC has raised £26mn ($34.6mn) in extra funding, the company said on November 29, bringing on board Melrose Industries, HydrogenOne, Centrica, Hyundai and Kia as new investors.

HiiROC has developed a technology that can convert biomethane, flare gas or natural gas into hydrogen and carbon black through an electrolysis process that uses thermal plasma. The resulting turquoise hydrogen is zero CO2, and is developed at a cost comparable to methane reforming but without emissions and using only a fifth of the energy needed for water electrolysis, the start-up said.

Most attention on low-carbon hydrogen development has been on the production of blue hydrogen, produced from natural gas using reforming with carbon capture and storage, and green hydrogen, derived from water using electrolysis powered by renewable energy. But advocates for turquoise hydrogen say it uses less energy and can be produced where it is needed using existing infrastructure

The carbon black it produces as a valuable industrial feedstock, whereas the gaseous CO2 that results from reforming has to be captured, transported and stored in underground reservoirs.

HiiROC already counts Wintershall Dea and fellow German firm VNG as strategic investors. The group is working on a project to produce 400 kg/day of turquoise hydrogen in Germany starting in 2023.