Prasanta Sarkar made the decision to stay behind and work on a problem while on a lengthy backpacking trip through India. He joined Entrepreneur First and immediately clicked with Rochan Sinha. They jointly established Newtrace in 2020 to create a new category of “membrane-less” electrolyzers and to make a dent in the market for “green hydrogen,” which at the moment only accounts for a tiny fraction of the 6 to 7 million tonnes of hydrogen produced in the nation each year, all from fossil fuels.
Together, they have many years of experience in fields ranging from aerospace engineering to nanomaterials and electrochemistry. They are well-versed in the finer points of building a hardware product with a deep engineering foundation.
They aim to make “green hydrogen” less expensive than “grey hydrogen,” produced from natural gas; the clean version is currently around six times more expensive. Additionally, the electrolyzers’ price might be $2,000 or more per kilowatt hour.
Simply put, the membrane in conventional electrolyzers keeps hydrogen and oxygen apart because they could combine explosively. According to Sarkar, “with our electrolyzer, we opted to completely remove the membrane and use the flow of water to separate the gases.”
Additionally, the device is being developed in India using components and materials that are easily accessible there. They want to start commercial manufacturing this year after carrying out an industrial pilot demonstration of their technology.