Hydrogen Industry Leaders Issue 23

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Hydrogen Industry Leaders eMagazine May 2024


04 Learning Lessons From Other Renewable Rollout: Is There a Blueprint for Hydrogen? Hydrogen MOTS: Carbon Cleaning for Greener Transport 08 ISSUE 23 16 The IPG Flameless Generator Set to Revolutionise Construction Decarbonisation 20 Next Gen Hydrogen Fuel Cells: Smaller, Simpler and More Powerful 24 Turquoise Hydrogen: Decarbonising Industry and Creating Revenue 2

Government Funding Boost for Hydrogen: Is it Enough?


“Innovations are continuing to push the hydrogen economy forwards. This edition unpicks just a few.”

With each passing month, the global hydrogen industry unlocks greater potential and further cements its role in the energy transition.

In this issue of the Hydrogen Industry Leaders eMagazine, we unpack how hydrogen fuel cells are getting smaller and more powerful; how flameless gas generators can decarbonise the construction sector; and how the sector can learn from the rollout of other renewables.

With the frequent movements in legislation, policy, and innovation, Hydrogen Industry Leaders brings you the latest advancements propelling the hydrogen economy to the forefront of net zero conversations.

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Learning Lessons From Other Renewable Rollout:

As the rest of the renewable sector has come to terms with, progress in scalability is rarely linear. Core blockades such as policy, planning and skills gaps are a thorn in the developing green hydrogen economy.

This notion is present even in more mature fields when it comes to innovating and improving the efficiency of processes. Most notably when evolving machinery operating on 25% blend of hydrogen to 100%.

There are lots of things that need to change from seals, maintenance procedures, and also detection systems, to name a few.


Grey hydrogen has been used in various industries for several decades, chemical refineries etc. and is often deployed as a feedstock for ammonia production and other chemicals.

The infancy comes from the building of largescale green hydrogen. Some of the sectors green hydrogen has been looked at being implemented in are particularly immature, such as heating for housing.

Speaking to Hydrogen Industry Leaders, Kelly Cole, General Manager, Electrical Power at Finning UK & Ireland said: “On an industrial scale and power generation, there is a lot of learning we can take from this [grey hydrogen experience] as some of the technologies and learnings can be taken from what we already use.

“A lot of projects and pilots in power generation are looking at using hydrogen at the point of use, which is something the sector has never seen before. Operating this at large-scale is important and getting there can be tricky.”


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Is There a Blueprint for Hydrogen?

“When taking lessons learned and looking at the growth of other renewable energy, the hardest part is to figure out how we [the sector] are going to use the blueprint for that growth again.”

While we can take confidence from the growth of other renewables we can’t be complacent that hydrogen will follow suit, as we’ve had a series of cancelled projects while growing the hydrogen economy.

Despite this, there are lots of positives the sector can take from wind and solar, which faced similar cancellations and public perceptions in early development across the world.

As a result of new solar projects coming online this year, the EIA forecast that U.S. solar power generation will grow 75% from 163 billion kilowatthours (kWh) in 2023 to 286 billion kWh in 2025. They expect that wind power generation will grow 11% from 430 billion kWh in 2023 to 476 billion kWh in 2025.

Notwithstanding, the UK's electricity generation from wind power has since increased by 715% from 2009 to 2020. In 2022, wind power contributed 26.8% of the UK's electricity generation.

In addition to this, a new record was set on 10 January 2023, when wind power generation reached 21.620 GW for the first time.

Public perception is one of the biggest examples of this in action. Perceptions of wind and solar, even EVs have changed dramatically over the last five years, and the pure scale of deployment is a contributing factor to this.

“So making progress is about navigating these obstacles in different ways. People seeing something being used in other sectors safely and effectively could help persuade over time,” Kelly added.

“When looking at other renewable implementations such as wind and solar we can learn a lot from past policy changes and planning permission rules. Mainly, how they impacted the growth of these forms of renewables.”



One of the key learnings from the renewable sector developments the UK has previously experienced is one of not losing hope.

With the implementation of hydrogen touching multiple sectors, this learning couldn’t be more appropriate. It is predicted to grow at different paces across multiple sectors, so the benefits of each one should be used moving forward with other developments in other sectors.

On this, Kelly stated: “This is something we are actively seeing in the UK, we’ve scaled back on some of the heating projects, but on the flip side Kimberly Clark has announced three sites where they are going to generate hydrogen on-site and use it at their manufacturing facilities.

“This should be seen positively as you can build up your scale of hydrogen production and capacity, and that can help improve public perception through successful delivery.”

Three green hydrogen projects that Kimberly-Clark is developing with energy industry partners have won places on the UK Government’s Hydrogen Business Model Strategy (HBMS) shortlist.

The scheme will kickstart the UK’s lowcarbon hydrogen economy by funding a

first-round allocation of 250 MW of electrolytic hydrogen projects across England, Scotland and Wales.

Kimberly-Clark, the parent company of leading household brands including Andrex®, Kleenex®, Huggies®, WypAll® and Scott®, expects to reduce its natural gas consumption in the UK by 61% when these three projects are operational at the end of 2025, subject to a final government contract.

Further grants and government initiatives such as the £120m Green Industrial Growth Accelerator Fund can help to ease these bottlenecks and create a business case for hydrogen in the UK.


Further to this, from a Finning perspective to push the hydrogen economy forward, the sector needs to address OPEX and CAPEX costs. Kelly explained: “Opex and Capex are far too high at the moment, so over the next decade there’s a lot to be done to reduce these costs.

“The core ways to do this is to scale up production and invest in R&D to make the technology on offer more efficient.”

“This will highlight the long-term benefits to both the public and to other future end users in the private sector,” Kelly rounded up.

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Carbon Cleaning Cars for Greener Transport

When considering hydrogen’s role in the UK’s decarbonisation efforts, thoughts often turn to large-scale, industrial overhauls and fundamental infrastructure upgrades. The potential to utilise hydrogen in smaller applications, however, could have just as profound an impact.

According to a 2023 statistical report commissioned by the UK Government, transport was found to be the largest emitting sector, producing 26% of the UK’s total 2021 greenhouse gas emissions.

Road vehicles made up the majority – 91% – of the transport sector’s emissions, with cars and taxis responsible for 52%, HGVs for 20%, and vans for 17%.

It is clear that the route to decarbonising road transport is an important one, and while the use of hydrogen as a future fuel is a topic of debate within the industry, its use in alternative applications may be a practical method to reducing emissions in the present.

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Speaking with AHT Group’s CEO, Ben Kattenhorn, Hydrogen Industry Leaders heard how hydrogen may be used as a ‘stepping stone’ on the path to decarbonising transport, so that reducing emissions from diesel ICE engines can begin in the short term whilst awaiting more long-term strategies.


Using technology developed to increase the efficacy of engines in endurance racing, AHT have expanded the use of their carbon cleaning system to locomotives and HGVs in an attempt to reduce carbon emissions from the exhaust.

The system essentially comprises of a miniaturised electrolyser, which uses tap water to create hydrogen. Ben explained: “We have developed a military specification level water filter, which prepares the water to be transposed in advance, and enables us to use plain, unfiltered tap water.”

The hydrogen produced then goes into the engine to the pistons, where there develops a build-up of carbon. The hydrogen, being such a small molecule, infiltrates the build up, and expands when heated. As it pops, it removes the build-up of carbon.

“Then that flows through the engine and then out of the exhaust. That's why we developed the capture device

that sits on the end of the exhaust, because those heavy particulates that come out, let’s not let them into the environment, let’s capture them and get rid of them.”


With an initial focus on how this innovation can be used to decarbonise heavy goods vehicles, AHT conducted an independent 18-month trial in collaboration with Abels Moving Services, which saw the device fitted to the exhausts of their diesel lorries.

Following its conclusion in October 2023, AHT reported a significant reduction in carbon emissions. With an average particulate number count of 116,300cm³ amongst the control vehicles, those fitted with the carbon capture device peaked at just 10,030cm³, a reduction of 91.4%.

Speaking at the time, Mark Costa-Rising, Chief Commercial Officer at Abels Moving Services’ parent company, AGM Group, said: “We’re delighted with the results and utilising this technology on our vehicles going forward will give us real partnership leverage when it comes to proving ESG compliance and reduction of our carbon output.

“With the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive set to become even more stringent from January 2024, it will also give us tangible benefits in our social, environmental and financial reporting and put us at the forefront of sustainability performance.”

“Quite simply, this technology will demonstrably negate our impact on the environment and reduce our carbon footprint – positioning us a good, better and preferred company to do business with.”

As a result of the trial, AGM are continuing their collaboration with AHT, having commissioned the carbon cleaning of their entire fleet, with the view to extend this to their subcontractors, too.



One potential way to bring this technology to the masses is through its implementation in individual MOTs, so that every diesel car is subject to a carbon clean at least once a year. This would reduce carbon emissions, as even without the carbon capture aspect, the system still reduces emissions and particulates.

Going one step further, Ben outlined how this practice might be incentivised in order to encourage the public to take social responsibility where their carbon emissions are concerned.

He said: “If every vehicle had a carbon clean every year along with its MOT, if we were to turn around and say that, because you are reducing your emissions by up to 70%, rather than paying the London congestion charge of £15, you only have to pay a third of that.

“I think that's how we could get it in. The saving is there for everyone. That would encourage more people, because otherwise it's just businesses that are going to do it because they need to be socially responsible.”

Reducing emissions isn’t the only benefit of regular carbon cleaning; it can also extend the lifespan of diesel engines. This gives those who may be unable to afford electric vehicles at present to still play their part when it comes to decarbonising, but without the steep upfront cost of a new, electric car.


Today, the technology and infrastructure requirements to bring hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to the masses on UK roads isn’t fully developed. In fact, according the UK’s hydrogen strategy: “By 2030, we envisage hydrogen to be in use across a range of transport modes, including HGVs, buses and rail, along with early stage uses in commercial shipping and aviation.”

While hydrogen may prove its use in decarbonising larger vehicles such as these, the average road user may be more likely to make the switch to electric due to the advancements in infrastructure already underway.

That said, hydrogen may still have its place in the interim period through hydrogen MOTs. Ben said: “I'm not saying we're the silver bullet, but we are a very good stepping stone.

“It is a technology that is available now. We know it reduces emissions. We know it reduces the carbon particulates. And I think it's a good bridge.”

As far as the wider transport sector is concerned, there may also be potential to decarbonise rail, and trials in the use of AHT’s technology on locomotives is currently underway. We are having testing done on that to prove that what we've seen on the roadside can be replicated on the railway because there are a lot of diesel locomotives out there. It’s not just road, it's any vehicle or anything with an internal combustion engine.

“ “

Hydrogen’s use case in the transport industry is still being explored, and to what extent we’ll see vehicles of all sizes and types utilising hydrogen has yet to be determined.

However, using hydrogen as an interim solution on the path to larger decarbonisation initiatives serves as an example of the innovation coming out of the sector, and demonstrates the potential hydrogen holds to reduce emissions even in the absence of significant infrastructure upgrades.


Government Funding Boost for


Is it Enough?

At the end of February, the UK government announced an investment of £21 million for the low-carbon hydrogen industry, to be shared between seven projects around the country. Hydrogen Industry Leaders spoke to experts from across the sector to understand how this support might impact the landscape of hydrogen energy in the UK.

Pembroke 200 MW Green Hydrogen Electrolyser Phase II: A project in the southwest of Wales delivered by RWE Generation and expected to be operational in the 2020s, which seeks to reduce carbon emissions by 160,000 tonnes each year and create up to 40 new jobs.

Grenian Hydrogen Speke: An electrolytic hydrogen project which will supply hydrogen via pipeline to offtakers as a replacement for natural gas, decarbonising the automotive, pharmaceutical and aviation sectors, with potential carbon savings of 61,000 tonnes per year.

The Net Zero Hydrogen Fund is divided into two strands, with the first four projects including:

Sullom Voe Terminal Hydrogen Project: An advanced facility for the production of hydrogen and its derivatives with an initial capacity of 50 MW and potential to expand to 300 MW, delivered by Veri Energy.

Tees Green Methanol: The 3rd phase of EDF Renewables and Hynamics’ Tees green hydrogen programme, which will see a 200 MW electrolyser feed into a proposed e-methanol plant at Teesport, to help decarbonise the UK’s maritime sector.

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The remaining three projects make up Strand 2 of the fund, and include:

Aberdeen Hydrogen Hub Phase 1: A collaboration between Aberdeen City Council and bp to build a green hydrogen production, storage, and distribution facility, which will deliver more than 800kg of green hydrogen per day and fuel 25 buses and the Council’s fleet of hydrogen vehicles.

Tees Valley Hydrogen Vehicle Ecosystem (HYVE): A 5 MW electrolyser to be deployed by Exolum at its Riverside storage terminal to produce 1.9 tonnes of green hydrogen per as part of the Tees Valley Hydrogen Vehicle Ecosystem (HYVE) project, as well as a hydrogen refuelling station and tube trailer loading facility at the terminal to supply hydrogen to customers.

Suffolk Hydrogen: A HydraB Power project which will deliver a 10 MW production facility at the Sizewell C nuclear site, capable of producing 4 tonnes of low-carbon hydrogen per day and fuelling hydrogen service vehicles.

Together, the seven projects could increase the UK’s hydrogen production capacity by 800 MW, supporting local communities in the mission to cut emissions and progress towards net zero.



While the investment certainly signals the government’s support for low-carbon hydrogen projects around the UK, some expressed doubt that this funding boost will do enough to develop the industry to the extent needed.

Otto Terrell, Senior Sustainability Consultant at True, powered by Open Energy Market, commented: “It’s fantastic to see investment in hydrogen projects but it’s long overdue. The UK is behind much of the world on green technology and the level of investment has been lagging for a while. We lead on wind power but in almost every other area of renewable energy, we’re behind.

“Though £21m is a great boost for developing hydrogen power across seven projects, it’s still a drop in the ocean and not enough to create a legitimate alternative to natural gas. For context, France plans to invest almost €9 billion in hydrogen power by 2030.”

Echoing these sentiments, Rebecca Armstrong, Managing Director at Making Energy Greener, emphasised the need for a more robust directive to properly establish the UK’s hydrogen industry: “I welcome the UK government's £21 million investment in hydrogen projects as a positive step towards sustainable energy. However, I would like to call for a more detailed dialogue on green carbon production and carbon capture strategies.

“This investment in hydrogen technology is encouraging, but we need reassurance of a broader, transparent commitment to sustainability.”

“Green hydrogen has great potential, and I am looking forward to seeing how these initiatives integrate into the wider goal of reducing carbon emissions and advancing a sustainable energy economy.”

As the dialogue around green hydrogen becomes more prevalent in the net zero conversation, so too do concerns around the skills available to fully monopolise on the UK’s potential.

“While it is really encouraging to see support from the UK Government for these projects, we must ensure that we have the infrastructure in place that will allow us to access all of the benefits that they will bring,” said Andy Lord, Founder and CEO of Hydrogen Safe.


“At present, we have a huge skills gap when it comes to something as simple as hydrogen awareness and we must make it a priority to equip people with the knowledge they need to work confidently and safely.”


Many find the government’s support for these seven projects to be encouraging, largely due to the dedication to reaching and actively investing in net zero it represents.

John Ellmore, Editor and Spokesperson for Electric Car Guide, also highlighted that this investment brings with it the potential to improve skills and encourage private investment.

He said: “The UK government's significant investment in hydrogen technology heralds a transformative era for the nation's energy and transport sectors. By allocating over £21 million to seven pioneering projects, from Suffolk to Shetland, the initiative not only underscores the UK's ambition to lead the global hydrogen economy but also illustrates a steadfast commitment to achieving net zero emissions.

“This move is set to bolster energy security, catalyse green job creation, and invite substantial private investment.”

“As these projects unfold, the UK positions itself at the forefront of sustainable energy, showcasing a model for integrating lowcarbon solutions into the fabric of national infrastructure and industry.”

With this boost in funding, hydrogen is lauded as key player in the UK’s energy transition, as Bicentennial Professor Peter Cummings of Heriot Watt University pointed out: “The investment in these projects represents another step towards keeping the UK, and Scotland in particular, at the forefront internationally in delivering hydrogen as a key energy component of our net zero future.”

The funding also signifies a step in the right direction after previous hydrogen initiatives have fallen through. Patrick Fenner, co-founder and head of engineering, DefProc Engineering, noted that this move demonstrates the UK’s ability to acknowledge current need and direct investment accordingly.

“I’m pleased to hear about the additional support for green hydrogen projects. The UK must be able to generate green hydrogen locally to reduce our reliance on imports,” he said.

“We were disappointed when the Hydrogen Village trial in Redcar was cancelled due to the lack of available supply. It highlighted the huge need for local hydrogen production so we can take part in world-leading trials and ensure hydrogen and low carbon fuel supply of all types is more robust.”

While there are differing opinions about whether these two strands of the Net

Zero Hydrogen Fund are substantial enough to deliver significant change, that any investment has been made at all underscores the UK’s acknowledgement of the part low-carbon hydrogen must play in reaching net zero.


The IPG Flameless Generator Set to Revolutionise Construction Decarbonisation

In the construction sector, the nature of current offtake agreements for hydrogen can create a lot of disincentivisation for implementing hydrogen.

When considering the vast deployment options for hydrogen in the UK, the construction sector can be a dark horse.

However, scratch a little below the surface and you’ll find an extremely energy-intensive sector, from facilities, equipment and within the building materials themselves.

With this in mind, there’s a lot of demand from the industry to decarbonise and a lot of the big players are setting themselves some aggressive targets to do so.

Begging the question of why this opportunity hasn’t been tapped, Toby Gill, CEO at IPG Energy explained: “Despite the demand for hydrogen in the construction sector, it represents several key challenges for the hydrogen economy. Namely, the dispersion of projects from a decentralised industry.”


When you have a 20 to 30-year project, this can bring the cost of use of hydrogen down over time as you have a secure pipeline of work. Some construction projects last a matter of days, alongside the bigger ones such as HS2. This disparity can cause uncertainty within the hydrogen market to be deployed across this sector which directly impacts cost.

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“Additionally, the point of construction constantly moves, so it is extremely difficult to have a single secured supply chain at a lower offtake price. There are lots of external challenges weaved within this,” Toby added.

“The construction sector operates on a project-by-project basis, so the economic decisions are washed and rewashed for each consecutive project. That means larger scale offtake agreements aren’t in place and can’t be in place.”

To de-risk the use of hydrogen within the construction sector IPG Energy has innovated a flameless generator that can operate on any type of fuel.


Describing the benefits of this generator Gill said: “It can work on ammonia, hydrogen, liquid biofuels etc. and can also work on natural LPGs, gas as a tool away from traditional fuels.

“The generator enables customers to flex how much renewable fuel they are using for a given budget, they can maximise CO2 savings to that budget.

“Jumping to 100% hydrogen is expensive and not all budgets reach this amount, so while the wider sector works on reducing LCOH, Opex and Capex, this is a good tool to transition to. It also helps the hydrogen sector move at a faster pace as the demand increases over time.”


For construction decision makers deciding whether to use 0% or 100% hydrogen in their projects can harm the rollout of hydrogen. Whereas, if the sector can find ways to transition hydrogen into technology such as this new generator, it will only benefit the economy in the mid to longer term.

Toby added, “The promise is hydrogen will get cheaper in time as demand increases but to increase demand you need companies in the construction industry using hydrogen generators. We hope this product turns this cycle around and starts the ball rolling in creating consistency for demand.”


The importance of flameless combustion is often understated, as traditional methods use the heat of the flame to create and sustain the environment necessary to release the chemical energy stored in a fuel.

This method of combustion is particularly problematic due to intense excess heat, localisation of the flame and the difference in flame for each fuel type.

At these extremely high temperatures, the perfect environment is created for oxygen and nitrogen from the atmosphere to combine to form nitrous oxides (NOx).

A flame concentrates the release of heat from the fuel in a localised area to sustain the process for as long as fresh air and fuel are provided.

This localisation is the cause of the other types of pollution emissions carbon monoxide (CO) and particulate matter (PM).

To sustain a flame, and continue the release of heat from the fuel, a fine balance of airflow and fuel must be maintained, and this balance differs depending on the fuel used.


Engineers must therefore design combustion technologies for each specific fuel, carefully regulating and mixing the cool incoming air and fuel.

Toby explained: “Flameless Combustion is, quite simply, the chemical reaction of combustion without the flame. This process is made possible by our Heat Regenerator which recycles waste heat from the exhaust of the Ceramic Turbine and channels it through the combustion chamber.

“This incoming air is at 930°C, which is well above the auto-ignition, or spontaneous combustion, temperature of methane, biofuels, and hydrogen.

”As such, fuel can be simply injected into, and distributed by, the air stream, within which it undergoes the auto-ignition process, increasing the air temperature to 1250°C. By ensuring there are no areas of high fuel density, no flame is formed.”


While innovations such as this could change the face of decarbonisation in the construction sector and tackle core

problems faced by the aforementioned constraints, there is still a growing need for policy direction and incentivisation.

Different countries have different funding mechanisms, with the US tying net zero into the Inflation Reduction Act, the UK with multiple funding rounds and HBMs and the EU with a joined-up approach to implementing hydrogen.

Focusing more on a UK perspective, and rolling out hydrogen in the construction sector, Hydrogen Industry Leaders heard: “There could be a review of the fuel duty taxation on hydrogen.”

At the moment the only exemption is for fuel cells using hydrogen, but “this could disincentivise the deployment of other hydrogen technologies.”

Realistically the best thing the UK can do is mandate the infrastructure projects in the UK and make sure they have to be decarbonised. So without cash incentivisation, these mandates can help create the demand over longer periods of time and set out a ‘direction of travel’ in the hydrogen economy.


Smaller, simpler and more powerful. The holy grail solution troubling the hydrogen sector when making current technologies more efficient and boosting the rollout of hydrogen vehicles.

In an attempt to push this forward, Intelligent Energy (IE), the UK’s leading fuel cell developer and manufacturer, has unveiled a brand-new hydrogen fuel cell system that is smaller and more powerful than any other solution on the passenger car market.

Intelligent Energy’s brand-new and patented IE-DRIVE™ system has been designed to give passenger car manufacturers direct access to the smaller, more powerful, turnkey and commercially-viable hydrogen fuel cell solution that is needed to make zero carbon emission mobility a global reality in the passenger car market.

The single stack platform, which is the first of its kind to be designed, manufactured and tested by a British company, recently broke cover during a launch event at Intelligent Energy’s Loughborough headquarters where it powered a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) provided by Changan UK.

The specification of the IE-DRIVE™ platform brings significant benefits when compared to other fuel cells that have been developed by large automotive groups and their third party fuel cell suppliers. These are:


In its current configuration, Intelligent Energy’s DRIVE fuel cell stack is capable of 157kW gross electrical power. This is higher than any other single stack application that is currently available for the passenger car sector.

Intelligent Energy’s patented direct water injection technology means DRIVE’s heat exchanger is up to 30% smaller than its competitors at equal net power output.

The single pass heat exchanger in IE’s test SUV only measures 0.34m² but enables cruising at 130km/h in peak temperatures and a speed of 90km/h to be achieved when travelling up a long, steep hill.

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• British company’s fuel cell developed as a commercially-viable, turnkey solution

• At 157kW, the fuel cell stack is more powerful than similar passenger car alternatives

• 30% smaller heat exchanger creates packaging benefits for car manufacturers

• First engine-shaped fuel cell system developed in UK for passenger car market

• Car powered by fuel cell breaks cover at Intelligent Energy’s headquarters

• Technology rollout can boost industry, create jobs, and position UK as fuel cell leader


Speaking to Hydrogen Industry Leaders, Dr Chris Dudfield, Chief Technology Officer at Intelligent Energy explained: Having a small heat exchanger makes vehicle packaging much easier and benefits fuel cell vehicle design, particularly in relation to bonnet height and improved driver visibility.

“Our unique designs don’t use coolants, every cell produces electricity so you can have a smaller, lighter, more compact stack.

Without the need for glycol as a coolant in the cell, the heat exchanger is different in how it operates and it is more efficient which allows it to be smaller, by roughly 30%.

Designing its novel direct water injection system has allowed Intelligent Energy to reduce its component count and bill of materials. An example of this is shown by the fact IE’s fuel cell doesn’t require a humidifier and related parts.

DRIVE is a complete fuel cell system in the shape of a traditional engine and is designed to meet the low bonnet requirements of passenger cars. It includes the fuel cell stack, electronic control unit, heat exchanger and Balance of Plant (BOP). It represents a genuine turnkey solution for car manufacturers.

Under full-scale, high-volume manufacturing conditions, Intelligent Energy predicts its DRIVE fuel cell system will cost around 100 GBP per kW by the end of the decade, making it less expensive than BEV solutions and comparable to ICE.

Intelligent Energy’s quest to develop a new breed of patented hydrogen fuel cell technology is the result of a four-year project – named ESTHER – that got underway in November 2019 and was supported by the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC).


The £22 million initiative was a collaborative effort involving Intelligent Energy, Changan R&D Centre, Lyra Electronics and Alexander Dennis. Changan provided essential support during the project, including the provision of three SUVs to enable fuel cell testing. Throughout the entire project, Intelligent Energy has revolutionised its manufacturing

processes, streamlined assembly, and worked hard to secure new cost efficiencies – without sacrificing quality.

Intelligent Energy is now ready to roll its technology out to the passenger car market, in partnership with suitable car manufacturers.

David Woolhouse, Intelligent Energy’s Chief Executive, said: “With 25% of all passenger cars expected to have hydrogen fuel cell powertrains, this clean technology represents the future. I’m proud that, as an independent and privately-owned company, Intelligent Energy has developed a breakthrough solution that can open up the market for passenger car manufacturers that need to package a more powerful system into their vehicles.

“Our DRIVE product has the potential to shake up the hydrogen fuel cell market and accelerate the transition towards zeroemission mobility.

“As an IATF-compliant business we are looking to grow our capability as a tier 1 supplier. Fuel cell manufacturing will be a major driver of economic growth.”


Dr Ashley Kells, Intelligent Energy Programme Director, said: “The support provided by the APC has been fundamental to the development of this passenger car fuel cell system, along with the valuable input of the other programme partners. The IE-DRIVE™ product is a ground-breaking advancement in the automotive industry and the work we have undertaken clearly illustrates the UK’s ability to be a global leader in the hydrogen fuel cell arena.”

Intelligent Energy’s work doesn’t just stand to benefit the drive to zero-emission mobility. The addressable global fuel cell market for passenger cars and vans is anticipated to be worth $750 billion (£596 billion) by 2040, and if car manufacturers adopt its IE-DRIVE™ fuel cell technology, the company could scale up its manufacturing capability in the East Midlands – a move that would create significant new employment opportunities and provide a major boost to both the regional and UK economy.


Turquoise Hydrogen: Decarbonising Industry and Creating Revenue

There are various methods when it comes to sequestering the carbon emissions of hydrogen production, but few which see carbon as an opportunity for further decarbonisation and increased revenue.

Finnish hydrogen company Hycamite seek to enable just this, by producing clean hydrogen and industrial-quality solid carbon using their proprietary zero-emission methane pyrolysis technology, as they strive to decarbonise industrial operations for a net zero future.

Based on research conducted at University of Oulu, Finland, this methane splitting technology could help to decarbonise industry operations through collecting carbon in a solid state before it can be released into the atmosphere.

Hydrogen Industry Leaders spoke to Matti Malkamäki, Founder and Chairman of Hycamite, who explained: “Most natural gas emissions are born when you are burning it. So instead of burning that natural gas, we can turn it into hydrogen and capture the carbon in a solid form before it goes to the skies in a gaseous form.”

Having launched in early 2020, the company have a pilot plant which has been in operation for over two years. Now, their sights are set on building their own industrial scale plant in Finland which will be the largest methane splitting facility in Europe.



In Finland, Hycamite have calculated the whole upstream emissions of producing turquoise hydrogen using liquefied natural gas (LNG), based on emissions from the well to the electrification plant, to transport, to reclassification, and then the pipeline to the customer.

Taking all of this into account, the resulting carbon emissions fall below one kilogram of CO2 equivalent per kilogram of hydrogen.

In the company’s USA projects, using their pipeline natural gas and utilising waste heat from the customer and hydrogen itself, the result is 0.45kg CO2, which is the tightest limit for tax credits in the USA.

While the primary focus is on the use of natural gas, Hycamite are also utilising biogas, or renewable natural gas. In these cases, the amount of CO2 produced can easily go below zero.

Matti said: “We are now using local biogas here in Finland at our pilot plant, and the carbon footprint of that one is -2.75 kilograms of CO2 equivalent per kilogram of hydrogen. It's really a carbon sink.”

According to Hycamite, their pilot plant acts as a demonstrator for this technology, as well as a test bed for the appropriate process conditions for various catalysts and carbon electrodes, before

applying the lessons learned to industry with the hopes to create carbon sinks on an industrial scale.

“If we want to be carbon neutral by 2050, we need to understand that some of the industry is going to be carbon negative, and we enable that one.”


While blue and green hydrogen production facilities are bound to certain locations due to the need to access both renewable power sources and hydrogen pipelines to deploy the hydrogen produced, turquoise hydrogen production can be carried out wherever natural gas pipelines are present.

“That is more or less every industrial site,” Matti commented. “If you go to Europe or the USA and so forth, natural gas is practically everywhere.”

“The power needs for our process are so small that I can’t imagine there would be any site where additional power cables would be needed, because it is really minimal.”

As such, turquoise hydrogen makes for an attractive option for industries wishing to use natural gas to decarbonise their operations, as well as the fact that the technology is quick to deploy.

“It only takes one, maximum two years to do all the permitting and get the site there. We don't need to wait for wind power parks or for some infrastructure to be built. We can do it quickly.”


””The most critical point is that it’s all about being low carbon. Renewable energies, even though they are renewable, still do have a CO2 footprint. Everything has, and this is where we need to focus.

Additionally, the technology eliminates the need for CO2 pipelines to be built, as is the case with blue hydrogen. As the carbon is in a solid form, there is no need to consider where to direct it to or where it will be stored, and whether that storage is good enough to prevent leakage.


On top of the timescale and location-based advantages, Matti added: “We have the carbon in such a high value form in the carbon nanofibers, that we are able to get another revenue stream out of it.

“We can go to those industries, like electroconductive material industries such as lithium ion batteries and so forth, and help them to decarbonise their business with our carbon because it has a lower footprint than the carbon that they are using now.”

Hycamite, unique in their focus on carbon products, are devoted to the development of high-value carbon applications.

“We think that you can't only [focus on] splitting methane and getting the hydrogen,” Matti said. “You need to have a second revenue stream – the carbon stream – tackled as well.”


In terms of scaling up turquoise hydrogen production, the future looks promising according to Hycamite, thanks to the ability to rapidly deploy this technology across a vast array

“We think that this is actually going to be bigger than blue and green hydrogen altogether in the coming 10-15 years or so.”

of locations.

In order to scale up, there is a need for regulation similar to the USA’s Inflation Reduction Act, which has a technology neutrality clause stating that any technology able to prove their lifecycle emissions are small enough will be eligible for benefits.

“That is really important because if we are talking about being CO2 neutral in 2050, which is 25 years away from now, 25 years in the world of technology development is a long time,” Matti said.

Having appropriate regulation in place that allows room for the development of technology, rather than deciding now which technologies are going to deliver on the 2050 goal, gives way to much more growth and opportunity for success within the sector.

Should turquoise hydrogen production scale up to the level Hycamite anticipates, the possibility to create industry carbon sinks and unlock further potential for carbon products paints a promising picture for the future global hydrogen industry and path to net zero.


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