Australian company Patriot Hydrogen Limited today announced it has formed a joint venture with CAC-H2, joining the fast-growing list of companies partnering with the newly formed Singapore-headquartered enterprise.
The agreement will see CAC-H2 become the exclusive technical and mechanical advisor and supplier for Patriot’s so called P2H units. These P2H units are modular and designed to be portable for ease of use and transportability. Their outputs include syngas, hydrogen, green energy and biochar, according to Patriot.
Although the term biomass doesn’t appear in the companies’ press release on the announcement, both Patriot and CAC-H2 use the material as the foundation for hydrogen production. Unlike other renewable hydrogen production process, CAC-H2 does not use electrolysers, but rather creates hydrogen through gasification. Gasification, including to make hydrogen, has been around for decades but has typically used fossil fuel feedstocks like coal. CAC-H2, on the other hand, is seeking to use biomass like wood and other organic materials.
Patriot Hydrogen says its P2H units will be based on CAC-H2’s proprietary technology, which includes components such as the in-feed system, discharge system for the produced biochar and the recovery and cleaning of the produced syngas suitable for immediate input to fuelled generator equipment.
CAC-H2’s proprietary technology
CAC-H2 is itself a joint venture, the coming together of Malaysian-based gasification and EPC company Renewables Plus and CannAcubed, the making of Singapore-based Australian Glenn Davies. The company was only officially established in the middle of this year and quickly announced a suite of partnerships including projects with Sweetman Renewables, Clean Holdings, and now Patriot Hydrogen.
CAC-H2 is adamant that even though the ‘net zero’ classification of biomass as an energy input is highly questionable, its processes are nonetheless totally green. It bases those claims on its biochar byproduct, which it says sequesters carbon and promotes soil health.
Speaking to pv magazine Australia last month, CAC-H2’s chief executive of energy, Arman Massoumi, said it is crucial to note the company’s technology does not combust biomass (burning wood, of course, releases carbon dioxide), but rather gasifies it in the absence of oxygen.
“We get wood and gasify it, or we get corn cob or cannabis, whatever, you get a gas that is a fuel gas with 20% hydrogen in it. We are then separating the hydrogen from that gas… so you’re removing the part that is sought after,” Massoumi said.
Next to hydrogen, the process’ outputs include nitrogen (50%) and carbon dioxide (20%). Massoumi said the company will likely release the nitrogen into the atmosphere because it has a low market value, while the CO2 will be emitted “into a greenhouse farm” or otherwise used or sequestered. Despite these two greenhouse gas byproducts, Massoumi is adamant the company’s process is still carbon negative thanks to the biochar, which contains much of the carbon its source plant sequestered.
In the middle of this year, Patriot Hydrogen was partially acquired by Western Australia-based oil and gas company Prominence Energy. Prominence bought a 20% stake in the hydrogen company in the hopes its P2H units will build into a solid revenue stream.
The company sold its first two units around the same time as Prominence Energy bought its stake in the company, which were sold for $5.8 million to Port Anthony Renewables.
Patriot Hydrogen has also previously said it intends to construct a ‘biomass to hydrogen’ plant at Port Anthony in Victoria. Patriot holds a binding term sheet to lease the site and construct the plant, which is expected to take around 12 months to be planned, constructed, commissioned and reach steady state production of two tonnes of hydrogen per day.
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