CALGARY, Alberta–Proton Technologies began separating hydrogen again in late February at their project in Saskatchewan, Canada. The new separation unit is for multi-year hydrogen filter longevity and iteration testing, with hydrogen truck-loading expected later this year.
Liquid oxygen is scheduled to be trucked in for injection at modest but still commercial scale. At the demonstration site production is expected to reach one thousand tonnes hydrogen per day after construction of a large air separation unit.
Hydrogen is a carbonless fuel which creates no CO2 when used. Proton has a way to make clean hydrogen at an anticipated production cost below $0.30 US per kg with a lower carbon intensity than wind or solar to electrolysis. Oil fields are not abandoned because they are empty, rather they have reached an economic limit but much of the oil remains in the ground. Proton’s process involves injecting oxygen into oilfields. This triggers reactions that produce hydrogen. Then a downhole hydrogen filter only allows hydrogen to come into the production well and up to surface, leaving all carbon in the ground. The cost structure is low because late-life oilfields become Proton’s reaction vessel which already contains decades of fuel.
There are many paths to move hydrogen, by truck, by rail, by pipeline, as a gas, as a liquid, or incorporated into chemicals such as ammonia, but if the production cost of hydrogen is lower than natural gas, baseload electricity and blending into natural gas systems are attractive as large proven markets with existing infrastructure and customers. “We plan to fuel our power purchase agreement using hydrogen-compatible generators,” says Seta Afshordi, COO of Proton Canada.
A journey is more purposeful when the destination is known. “Proton Canada aspires to supply 10% of humanity’s total energy by 2040. This will require huge investment for construction of many large air separation units and about 1/10th of western Canada’s vast oil resource, most of which is uneconomic for oil production,” says Grant Strem, Chair & CEO. Enquiries may be made to [email protected], [email protected], or [email protected].