Photo: The Aurora Hydrogen founders; Courtesy of Aurora Hydrogen

Shell and Chevron invest in Aurora Hydrogen clean H2 tech

The venture capital units of energy giants Chevron and Shell participated in Canadian clean hydrogen company Aurora Hydrogen’s $10 million funding round.

Shell and Chevron invest in Aurora Hydrogen clean H2 tech
The Aurora Hydrogen founders; Courtesy of Aurora Hydrogen

Aurora Hydrogen is developing a clean hydrogen production technology that uses microwave energy without generating any CO2 emissions or consuming water. Hydrogen production using Aurora’s technology has the potential to reduce global CO2 emissions by over 900 million tonnes per year. 

The company has raised $10 million in Series A funding led by Energy Innovation Capital. Participating investors include Williams, Shell Ventures, Chevron Technology Ventures, and the George Kaiser Family Foundation. This funding adds to additional funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) that the team received earlier this year.

Hydrogen demand is expected to increase from $130 billion today to $2.5 trillion in 2025, according to the Hydrogen Council.

There is an urgent need to develop new low-cost and low-carbon technologies for hydrogen production. According to Aurora, its technology is highly scalable, with units that can supply a broad range of applications from distributed fueling to hydrogen injection and industrial processes.

Additionally, Aurora uses 80 per cent less electricity than electrolysis, the conventional method of producing clean hydrogen, requiring far less electrical generation capacity per kilogram of hydrogen. And, unlike electrolysis, the process does not require water as a feedstock, preserving another critical and scarce resource.

“We are producing low-cost hydrogen at the point of use, at the exact scale required, and without generating any CO2,” said Andrew Gillis, CEO, Aurora Hydrogen. “We use existing energy pipelines and distribution systems to move the energy, then produce hydrogen where it’s needed, eliminating the need for any new costly hydrogen transportation infrastructure.”

The recent funding will be used to build and operate a 200 kilograms of H2 per day demonstration plant for field trials in Edmonton, Canada.

Christopher Smith, managing director, Energy Innovation Capital, said: “Aurora’s novel and thermodynamically sound approach has the opportunity to decarbonize the current carbon-intensive hydrogen industry and lead the commercialization of new low-carbon hydrogen applications.”

Aurora Hydrogen’s founding team is made up of Andrew GillisErin Bobicki, and Murray Thomson.

“Aurora has assembled an impressive strategic investor syndicate to commercialize and scale emissions-free hydrogen that includes two of the world’s largest energy companies and a leading U.S. energy infrastructure company, added Smith. “Aurora can be a significant contributor to achieving global net-zero targets and is very well aligned with EIC’s focus on the future of energy, Chevron’s commitment to industrial decarbonization and energy decentralization, Shell’s strategy to invest in low carbon energy and Williams’ hydrogen development program. The syndicate provides Aurora a powerful commercialization platform with global reach.”