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    Baker Hughes backs turquoise hydrogen developer

Summary

Ekona says its technology can produce hydrogen at costs on par with conventional steam methane reforming.

by: Gas Pathways

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Baker Hughes backs turquoise hydrogen developer

US oilfield services provider Baker Hughes announced on November 9 it had invested in a Canadian developer of turquoise hydrogen technology, Ekona Power.

Turquoise hydrogen is produced from natural gas using pyrolysis, which involves splitting methane into hydrogen and solid carbon. Proponents of the technology point to its energy efficiency and the fact it does not require carbon capture and storage to produce the hydrogen cleanly. Solid carbon can instead be sold as an industrial feedstock, or stored underground with relative ease.

"This strategic investment further demonstrates our commitment to advancing new energy frontiers by accelerating the pace at which novel technologies are being brought to market," Baker Hughes' vice president of turbomachinery and process solutions, Rod Christie, commented. "Ekona Power's methane pyrolysis platform for the production of cleaner and lower cost turquoise hydrogen builds on our growing and diverse portfolio of decarbonisation technologies, including blue and green hydrogen, CCUS and emissions management solutions."

By adopting pyrolysis, the industry can leverage abundant gas reserves to produce lower-carbon hydrogen and accelerate its use across the energy value chain, he said.

"Our innovative technology has the potential to produce hydrogen at costs on par with conventional steam methane reformers, while drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions," Ekona CEO Chris Reid said. "In addition, our solution isn’t reliant on CO2 sequestration, so it has the potential to be quickly and broadly deployed across various industries and market regions."

Baker Hughes is acquiring a 20% stake in Ekona, helping to take the company through new project development and commercialisation. It will also take a seat on Ekona's board of directors.

Ekona is also supported by numerous Canadian Federal and Provincial partners, including the BC Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund, National Research Council (NRC), Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) Breakthrough Energy Solutions Canada (BESC) Programme, Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA), the Natural Gas Innovation Fund (NGIF) and Pacific Economic Development Canada. In addition, BDC Capital’s Cleantech Practice invested in 2020 to help fund Ekona’s technology development programme.

This article first appeared in Gas Pathways, a platform dedicated to technology and innovation in the natural gas industry. Click here for more information.