NW Natural, Hycamite partner on emissions-free hydrogen

Sign letter of intent to explore novel methane pyrolysis technology in H2 production

Oregon-based gas utility NW Natural and Kokkola, Finland-based Hycamite TCD Technologies have signed a letter of intent to explore applications for Hycamite’s novel methane pyrolysis technology to produce and distribute clean hydrogen.

Hycamite novel methane-splitting technology Large natural gas customers within NW Natural’s service territory may be able to develop facilities that use novel methane-splitting technology to deliver low-carbon hydrogen. (Photo: Hycamite TCD Technologies)

Hycamite provides carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technology that uses heat to break down methane molecules. Its proprietary technology – based on longstanding research in applied chemistry from the University of Oulu, Finland – decomposes large volumes of methane into its component elements of hydrogen and carbon while avoiding the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The clean hydrogen produced can be used as either an industrial raw material or fuel. Carbon is captured in a solid form and provided to customers as nanocarbon and other industrial-quality products, suitable for applications such as battery production, supercapacitors, electronics, additives in polymers and composite materials and concrete manufacturing.

According to the company, the novel methane-splitting technology requires only 13% of the energy required to produce hydrogen via electrolysis. Use of methane feedstock (from geologic natural gas, biomethane or synthetic natural gas) allows production to scale up rapidly.

NW Natural is a local distribution company that currently provides natural gas service to approximately 2.5 million people in more than 140 communities throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington. Under the agreement with Hycamite, large natural gas customers within NW Natural’s service territory could develop facilities that use novel methane-splitting technology to deliver low-carbon (turquoise) hydrogen to supplement or replace natural gas usage. Hycamite would install, commission, operate and maintain the methane pyrolysis units, while NW Natural would deliver the natural gas feedstock used to produce hydrogen.

“We want to help a variety of industrial customers to decarbonize their production cost efficiently, and we are ready to scale up the production in North America swiftly,” said Hycamite CEO Laura Rahikka. “We look forward to working with NW Natural to develop opportunities with the utility and its largest natural gas customers.”

Low carbon fuels like clean hydrogen play an essential role in NW Natural’s long-term decarbonization plans. “We’re excited about the potential to lower emissions with clean hydrogen, and we look forward to exploring opportunities for Hycamite’s technology to help deliver carbon reductions for us and our customers,” said Chris Kroeker, NW Natural’s business development lead for hydrogen and carbon capture.

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