The competition forms part of BEIS’ £1bn Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, which aims to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative clean energy technologies and processes through the 2020s and 2030s.
Tetronics has been researching green hydrogen production using its Hydrogen Plasmolysis (THP) Technology. THP applies the “plasma effect” which involves both highly concentrated electrical energy, as well as the high temperature and pressure gradients arising from the plasma arc.
It has secured funding from BEIS for Phase one of the study as part of the Low Carbon Hydrogen Supply 2 competition, which is focused on developing technical, economic and operational elements.
Up to £6mn is available in Phase two, subject to a competitive tender process. Tetronics aims to build and operate an industrial scale demonstrator plant to validate a commercially viable THP process to supply green hydrogen with zero CO2 emissions (assuming the use of green electricity), at greater efficiency and lower cost than current technologies.
HYS2 aims to catalyse innovative solutions for hydrogen production, storage and transport applications – reducing costs and ensuring that the UK continues to develop leading technologies for a future hydrogen economy.
Tetronics believes that, when compared with current benchmark electrolysis technologies, THP offers a step-change in performance, including energy efficiency improvements (kWh per kg of Hydrogen); associated cost savings; significant greenhouse gas reductions; improved competitivity at small and large scale; and smaller physical plant footprint for equivalent Hydrogen production.
It can draw on 50 years of R&D and 127 patents (granted and pending), along with over 20 years' operational expertise, across more than 95 global reference sites.
The majority of these existing applications are in resource recovery from challenging waste streams, including automotive or industrial catalysts, and decarbonisation of heat intensive manufacturing processes – such as steel, glass and cement. Clients include Harsco, Hitachi-Zosen, Mitsubishi, Nippon Steel and Outokumpu
Graeme Rumbol, Chief Executive of Tetronics, said its highly scalable, compact and cost effective THP process offers significant improvements in energy efficiency for green hydrogen production, whilst delivering considerable greenhouse gas reductions.
He said it looks forward to demonstrating the environmental and commercial benefits of THP, while helping to accelerate the UK’s green economy and create "significant global exports".
Energy Minister Greg Hands said the government support which Tetronics has received will help to boost the development of hydrogen as the clean, affordable, homegrown superfuel of the future.