Two Canadian visionaries from forestry and energy sectors collaborate to harness the carbon-absorbing power of trees, aiming to revolutionize hydrogen production and create a carbon-negative fuel.
In a groundbreaking initiative that marries sustainable forestry practices with cutting-edge energy production, two Canadian business magnates are on a mission to reshape the hydrogen landscape. Brian Fehr, hailing from British Columbia, and Alberta’s Ian MacGregor are the driving forces behind “Hydrogen Naturally,” a startup with a grand vision – to establish a network of natural air capture (NAC) hubs across North America, utilizing trees’ carbon-absorbing capabilities to produce hydrogen, a carbon-negative fuel.
Brian Fehr, formerly at the helm of BID Group, a prominent sawmill equipment manufacturer, and now leading Brian Fehr Group, brings extensive experience in renewables and construction services. Ian MacGregor, the brain behind Calgary-based North West Capital, boasts a track record of monumental undertakings, including Canada’s first diesel refinery in decades, backed by an impressive blue hydrogen plant and carbon capture and storage (CCS) facilities. Together, these titans of industry have coalesced their expertise to pioneer a revolutionary approach to hydrogen production.
Hydrogen Naturally’s innovative blueprint taps into the potential of marginalized forestry residues – biomass traditionally left unutilized or burned – to create a carbon-negative fuel. The process begins with the collection of forestry residues, encompassing everything from leftover wood products to beetle-killed trees. These residues are transformed into pellets, facilitating easy transport to a central production plant. At this plant, the pellets undergo gasification, leading to the separation of carbon dioxide and hydrogen. The captured carbon dioxide is compressed into a supercritical liquid and safely sequestered underground, resulting in permanent carbon storage.
Game-Changing Solution to Forest Management and Wildfire Risk
Amidst Canada’s escalating wildfire crisis, Hydrogen Naturally’s approach offers a tangible solution. Accumulated fuel in Canada’s forests due to a century of fire suppression has created a dangerous scenario. Hydrogen Naturally’s plan to remove residual fiber from forests not only reduces the risk of wildfires but also enables the creation of profitable pellets from otherwise unusable wood. This innovative approach integrates forest management with energy production, showcasing the potential for symbiotic sustainability.
Hydrogen Naturally’s pioneering initiative yields a carbon-negative fuel named “Bright Green Hydrogen.” This fuel, derived from biomass, trumps even conventional green hydrogen produced through electrolysis from renewable energy sources. Its carbon-negative attributes make it an attractive choice for industries seeking to reduce their carbon footprint. The company’s ambitious vision includes the establishment of several hydrogen production plants across North America, each capable of producing substantial amounts of hydrogen while sequestering significant carbon dioxide.
First Nations partnerships constitute an integral part of Hydrogen Naturally’s success. The company’s commitment to involving First Nations in ownership positions exemplifies a holistic approach to sustainable development. As the venture gains momentum, it not only addresses carbon emissions but also contributes to community empowerment.
With pre-project planning already underway, Hydrogen Naturally is gearing up to usher in a new era of sustainable hydrogen production. By employing proven technologies in novel ways, the venture aligns with government targets while offering a timely carbon-negative solution. As the world grapples with carbon neutrality goals, Hydrogen Naturally’s endeavor showcases the potential for innovative partnerships to drive meaningful change.