US clean hydrogen producer Monolith Materials, Inc. has received an investment from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) America to support its commercial-scale, emissions-free hydrogen manufacturing technology. The announcement is the latest in a series of recent strategic investments made by MHI in support of achieving a decarbonized world. Monolith Materials is the first US manufacturer to produce a clean, industry-transforming hydrogen known as “turquoise hydrogen” on a commercial scale.
“Successfully scaling Monolith’s technology to serve a global marketplace will benefit from the kind of investment that we have from MHI,” said Rob Hanson, co-founder and CEO of Monolith Materials. “This relationship will be a model for evaluating future investment opportunities to make emissions-free hydrogen the standard around the world.”
Hydrogen, with its applications in transportation, manufacturing, energy storage and power generation, is often viewed as key to a cleaner energy future. However, the prevailing production process is not sustainable due to high CO2 emissions. The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions states hydrogen production generates 830 million tonnes/year of CO2, equivalent to the output of the entire country of Germany.
Through an innovative and proprietary breakthrough in commercial-scale methane pyrolysis, Monolith is now manufacturing emissions-free, economically sustainable hydrogen using 100% renewable energy. Monolith’s hydrogen is classified as “turquoise hydrogen,” which meets the industry standard for the cleanest hydrogen available today.
“By solving the century-old problem of scaling methane pyrolysis to a commercial level, Monolith Materials has emerged as a leader in the manufacture of emissions-free hydrogen,” said Yoshihiro Shiraiwa, President and CEO, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America. “While we’re evaluating a number of clean-energy development options, Monolith offers great promise. We’re excited to be the first in a new wave of strategic investors supporting the development of their technology.”
Monolith Materials, which was founded in 2012, developed a process technology that converts natural gas into clean hydrogen and a solid carbon material called carbon black, a critical raw material in the automotive and industrial sectors. The company is currently in the operating stage of Olive Creek 1 (OC1), its first commercial-scale emissions-free production facility designed to produce approximately 14,000 tonnes/year of carbon black along with clean hydrogen. In addition to producing carbon black and clean hydrogen, the company recently announced its plans to produce emissions-free ammonia at a second phase production facility known as Olive Creek 2 (OC2) in Hallam, Nebraska.
Combined, Monolith Materials’ production of hydrogen, emissions-free ammonia and carbon black are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 1 million tonnes/year compared to traditional manufacturing processes.