The funding secured by Ohmium to increase the production of machines that produce clean hydrogen is a significant milestone for the industry and a step towards achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
Silicon Valley-based company Ohmium has secured $250 million in funding to increase the production of machines that produce clean hydrogen and replace fossil fuels, marking a significant milestone for the industry. Using hydrogen can serve as a substitute for coal, oil, or gas, making it possible to produce materials like steel or cement without contributing to climate change. Ohmium makes electrolyzers, which split water into hydrogen and oxygen. The company will use the funding to expand its plant in India, conduct further research to reduce production costs, and increase its workforce. Its goal is to produce enough electrolyzers annually to supply 2 gigawatts’ worth of hydrogen.
Countries and industries are setting ambitious targets to cut carbon dioxide from heavy manufacturing using hydrogen. The United States, European Union, Canada, and India are offering tax credits and production incentives for clean hydrogen. According to the International Energy Agency, global hydrogen demand reached 94 million tonnes in 2021, and nearly 200 million tonnes will be needed by 2030 to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. However, most hydrogen is currently produced from natural gas, which emits greenhouse gases during the extraction process, and companies often burn more fossil fuels to produce steam to crack hydrogen from natural gas.
Electrolyzers that draw electricity from a grid powered by renewable energy, such as wind and solar, can produce clean hydrogen. Ohmium’s clients are focused entirely on this method, a significant change since less than 1per cent of global hydrogen production currently comes from renewable energy. The Clean Air Task Force’s US Director for Zero-Carbon Fuels, Emily Kent, says meeting the demand for low-emissions hydrogen requires a significant ramp-up in electrolyzer manufacturing and zero-carbon electricity.
Ohmium’s Lotus electrolyzer can serve as a partial substitute for natural gas, with some US power plants planning to use it. The electrolyzers are interlocking and modular, costing a few hundred thousand dollars each and generating up to 50 tonnes of hydrogen per year. Ohmium is collaborating with Spanish energy company Cepsa and renewable energy developer Amp Energy India on green hydrogen projects.