Energy firm says new investment can transform hydrogen production

Energy giant BP has led a new fundraising round  for a new initiative which it believes will disrupt the future for hydrogen fuel production.

The  company has invested in Advanced Ionics, the developer of a new category of hydrogen electrolysers useful for expanding green hydrogen production, which it believes will play a key part in heavy industry’s move to decarbonisation.

It said the new capital will help catalyse Advanced Ionics’ growth and facilitate the initial deployment of its Symbion™ water vapor electrolyser technology for heavy industry. Water vapor electrolysers address two of the biggest obstacles to expanding green hydrogen production: cost and electricity requirements.

“bp ventures’ investment in Advanced Ionics is a powerful backing of our technology’s potential to help accelerate green hydrogen’s future and heavy industry’s shift towards decarbonisation,” said Chad Mason, CEO of Advanced Ionics. “The results we’ve achieved in our testing along with early customer interest have indicated that we are an ideal technology provider for industrial customers looking to augment, expand or replace their existing hydrogen production facilities with green hydrogen.”

He explained the company’s water vapor electrolyser helps reduce the cost and electricity requirements for green hydrogen production by symbiotically integrating with standard industrial processes to harness available heat. The system is made of widely available steels and other simple materials rather than expensive metals or materials common in other electrolysers.

Electricity use accounts for more than 70% of green hydrogen production costs. Advanced Ionics’ electrolyser stack requires less than 35 kWh per kilogram of produced hydrogen compared to more than 50 kWh per kilogram for typical electrolysers. This lower electricity requirement could make green hydrogen accessible for less than $1 per kilogram at scale.

“Advanced Ionics’ technology has the potential to drive down cost and disrupt the hydrogen market” said Gareth Burns, vice president of bp ventures. “bp has a global portfolio of hydrogen projects, and as the world transitions to a net zero future, it’s important to us to be investing in these technologies and advance the track to deploying green hydrogen. We look forward to working with Advanced Ionics on the next stage of its growth.”

Advanced Ionics said it will use the funds to expand its team and deliver its next-generation electrolyser systems to early customers.

“The company is already demonstrating the efficacy of its product through a pilot program with global energy company Repsol Foundation,” it added. “In addition to bp Ventures’ investment, bp will also be exploring pilot opportunities with Advanced Ionics. Other investors in Advanced Ionics include Aster, and angel investor collectives Clean Energy Venture Group and SWAN Impact Network.”

“Hydrogen is one of bp’s five transition growth engines, which also include bioenergy, convenience, electric vehicle charging, and renewables & power,” Burns added. “bp plans to increase its investments in those businesses through this decade, while at the same time investing in today’s energy system, as it delivers its strategy of becoming an integrated energy company.”