Baker Hughes, a technology business focused on energy, announced an investment in Ekona Power Inc., a growth stage company developing a new turquoise hydrogen generation technology.
Baker Hughes will leverage the investment to expand its hydrogen and natural gas decarbonization solutions portfolio, thereby contributing to the energy transition.
Turquoise hydrogen is produced by pyrolysis, also known as splitting or cracking, of methane. Ekona’s methane pyrolysis solution utilizes combustion and high-speed gas dynamics in a reactor to separate feedstock methane into hydrogen and solid carbon, significantly lowering carbon dioxide emissions in comparison to the more conventional steam methane reforming process. The novel approach is designed to interact seamlessly with standard equipment used in natural gas and hydrogen applications, such as carbon separation and hydrogen purification, easing industrial process integration.
The two companies will collaborate to accelerate the technology’s scaling up and industrialization by identifying appropriate pilot projects and leveraging Baker Hughes’ market-leading turbomachinery portfolio and established technical expertise in providing modular and scalable solutions for global hydrogen and natural gas projects.
“This strategic investment further demonstrates our commitment to advancing new energy frontiers by accelerating the pace at which novel technologies are being brought to market,” said Rod Christie, executive vice president of Turbomachinery & Process Solutions at Baker Hughes. “Ekona Power’s methane pyrolysis platform for the production of cleaner and lower cost turquoise hydrogen builds on our growing and diverse portfolio of decarbonization technologies, including blue and green hydrogen, CCUS and emissions management solutions. Through the adoption of this technology, the industry can leverage existing and abundant natural gas reserves to produce lower carbon hydrogen and accelerate its use across the energy value chain.”
“At Ekona, we are deeply committed to delivering cleaner energy solutions that cost-effectively address industry pain points. Our innovative technology has the potential to produce hydrogen at costs on par with conventional steam methane reformers, while drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, our solution isn’t reliant on CO2 sequestration, so it has the potential to be quickly and broadly deployed across various industries and market regions,” Chris Reid, chief executive officer of Ekona Power Inc. “This important investment from Baker Hughes who is an established global player is a key step to commercializing our technology.”
Baker Hughes will acquire a roughly 20% stake in Ekona to aid in the development and commercialization of new projects. Baker Hughes will also join the Board of Directors of Ekona. Ekona Power was advised by Fort Capital Partners. Along with lead investor Baker Hughes, Ekona has received support from a number of federal and provincial governments in Canada, including the British Columbia Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund, the National Research Council (NRC), Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) Breakthrough Energy Solutions Canada (BESC) Program, Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA), the Natural Gas Innovation Fund (NGIF), and Pacific Economic Development Canada. Additionally, BDC Capital’s Cleantech Practice funded in Ekona’s technological development initiative in 2020.