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An Australian hydrogen company will build a campus in New Mexico where it will work on proprietary technology to use hydrogen for heating.
That’s according to the AP, which reported New Mexico’s Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham had signed the deal with Star Scientific during her attendance at a hydrogen conference in Sydney.
“Our system doesn’t burn gas, it reacts the gas,” the global group chairman of the 20-employee company, Andrew Horvath, said about the technology. “It creates an instantaneous reaction whereby you end up with the heat from the excitation energy from those atoms.”
Hydrogen, an energy carrier, is considered one of the pillars of the energy transition but adopting it on a large enough scale in the form produced by wind or solar has been challenging because of cost and other problems.
Hydrogen is highly combustible, which makes storage and transportation tricky, and there is also a danger of leaks. At the same time, it needs special containers and carriers because of its corrosive nature.
Environmentalists are also starting to have misgivings towards hydrogen because of the above plus what they see as an opportunity for oil and gas companies to benefit from government plans for hydrogen, even though these plans normally feature green hydrogen only rather than the so-called blue and green varieties that require inputs of hydrocarbon products.
New Mexico’s governor appears to be an enthusiastic supporter of hydrogen, from the AP report, seeing such ventures as opportunities for job creation in the state.
Star Scientific, which was founded by Andrew Horvath, was financed, per its website, by scientists and philanthropists to develop its HERO technology, an acronym that stands for Hydrogen Energy Release Optimiser. So far, the company has raised some $63 million and has plans for international expansion.
Besides the New Mexico deal, Star Scientific recently signed a preliminary deal with the government of the Philippines to help the country move from hydrocarbon-fueled power generation to green hydrogen.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com