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Nanotechnology Company Developing a Rare Earth Oxide Alloy For Hydrogen Generation

By August 6, 2021 3   min read  (454 words)

August 6, 2021 |

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  • A US nanotechnology company, Damorphe, is developing an alloy that dissolves in water to create hydrogen.

The company claims its technology is capable of delivering clean hydrogen for as little as $1 per kilogram.

As part of a collaboration with partners, a facility capable of producing 1 million tons of hydrogen per day will be built in California and it will focus on diverse application areas including aerospace and defense.

Damorphe CEO Carmine Battista told S&P Global Platts in an interview on July 30 that its hydrogen division’s technology can replace existing low-carbon and renewable hydrogen production methods such as steam methane reforming and electrolysis in large part.

The electrochemistry process disperses hydrogen from water and dissolves the alloy, allowing the process to use any type of water, unlike electrolysis, which requires higher quality water.

According to Battista, scale-up would be simple and inexpensive for the company that developed the reagent. As a result, Damorphe has already been overwhelmed with interest in financing its technologies.

According to S&P Global Platts statistics, the $1/kg production cost would make hydrogen cheaper than diesel in trucking and less expensive than SMR in California and proton exchange membrane electrolysis.

In order to participate in the growth of the sector and stimulate the demand for hydrogen, Battista stated that the corporation desired to sell hydrogen for a small margin above production costs. While focusing on its core business of materials development, the company would partner with others to develop distribution and manufacturing systems.

Rare earth metals that the company uses, which it has not revealed, are widely available in the United States and Canada, so there are no supply concerns. The mining reserves are plentiful, so future mining exploitation is not a concern according to Battista.

With the assistance of a California trucking company, Damorphe is creating hydrogen that will be used to recharge fuel cell electric vehicles. It is estimated that the prototype facility will be operational in 2022. Battista said the low costs of the project will allow the project to operate without government funding.

Carbon credits and hydrogen sales would enable it to offer its technology at a close to cost price.

Additionally, the company is mulling over agreements with large energy and hydrogen companies, citing a high level of interest in its technology.

As of now, Battista estimates that 50,000 mt/year of reagent will not be ready for about another two years, underlining that he expects “much more” hydrogen to result from this.

The company plans to expand beyond the US and expand into Europe and Asia.

Although Battista acknowledged Europe’s lead in clean hydrogen development compared to other regions, he believed the US could leapfrog Europe and take the lead in generating renewable hydrogen.

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