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Hysata closes $42.5M AUD Series A to commercialize capillary-fed electrolysis

Australia-based Hysata, which is commercializing capillary-fed electrolysis technology developed at the University of Wollongong (earlier post) has closed its oversubscribed Series A funding round of $42.5 million AUD (US$30 million). Virescent Ventures led the funding round on behalf of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) (Aus), with participation from Kiko Ventures (UK), IP Group Australia, Vestas Ventures (Denmark), Hostplus (Aus) and BlueScope (via its ventures arm BlueScopeX TM) (Aus).

The Hysata electrolyzer supplies water to the hydrogen- and oxygen-evolving electrodes via capillary-induced transport along a porous inner-electrode separator.


Inspired by the historic evolution of water electrolysis cell architectures culminating in the direct production of one of the gases, the Capillary-Fed Electrolysis cell directly produces both gases. Liquid electrolyte is continuously drawn up the separator by a capillary effect, from a reservoir at the bottom of the cell. The porous, hydrophilic separator sustains the flow rate required for water electrolysis. Hodges et al.

The Hysata electrolyzer operates at 95% system efficiency (41.5 kWh/kg), delivering a giant leap in performance and cost over incumbent technologies, which typically operate at 75% or less. This high efficiency, coupled with the simple approach to mass manufacturing and low supply chain risk puts the company on a path to delivering the world’s lowest cost green hydrogen.

Funding from the Series A round will be used to grow the Hysata team and develop a pilot manufacturing facility.

The CEFC invested $10 million into the Series A funding round, building on its initial $750,000 investment in the early commercial development of Hysata’s research. CEFC CEO Ian Learmonth said that backing a company like Hysata and its cutting-edge electrolyzer technology is vital in helping to grow Australia’s clean technology ecosystem.


  • Hodges, A., Hoang, A.L., Tsekouras, G. et al. (2022) “A high-performance capillary-fed electrolysis cell promises more cost-competitive renewable hydrogen.” Nat Commun 13, 1304 doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-28953-x



Hydrogen is the way to go to reduce petroleum consumption.


This write up explains well how the energy use is reduced:


I'd like to know how precious metals are used in this version of electrolysis.

It looks to me as though it can simply use the best available catalysts, including hopefully newer ones which use far less precious metals, but I might be wrong!


Got the catalyst used here:


' In this work we show that a capillary-fed cell, employing a known NiFeOOH oxygen evolution electrocatalyst on the anode and Pt/C hydrogen evolution electrocatalyst on the cathode, tested at 80–85 °C with 27 wt% KOH electrolyte, yields water electrolysis with performance that exceeds conventional, bubbled control cells, and commercial alkaline and PEM cells.'



' For the cathode, a Pt/C electrocatalyst was deposited as previously described by Liu et al.24, to a loading of 0.5 mg cm−2 Pt on a conducting, carbon paper gas diffusion layer.'

Anyone know how that compares to conventional electrolysers Pt loading?

I would also note the very low water use.

For systems using, for instance, solar in the Gulf as an energy source, this would substantially decrease the cost of desalination, both in money and in energy terms.


' State-of-the-art PEM electrolysers require 1–3mg/cm2 of platinum group metals (iridium and ruthenium-based oxides) to catalyse oxygen evolution at the anode. The Henry Royce study on materials for low-carbon hydrogen production estimated
that over 27 years of the 9 tonne/year global iridium production would be required to develop 1TW of PEM electrolyser capacity, which is clearly a limitation. It is estimated a 40-fold reduction in PEM electrolyser iridium loading is required for
large-scale electrolysis. High demand for iridium, long processing times, limited supply, and an undiversified supply chain have already caused the price of the metal to increase nearly four-fold, from $1,670/Oz at the start of December 2020 to $6,000/Oz by the end of March 2021. Without new materials solutions to reduce iridium loading in PEM electrolysers, volatility in iridium price and lack of availability will impact the viability of large-scale PEM electrolysis'


So apparently half as much as the very best?


For those who focus on the delivered cost of the very high purity hydrogen delivered to stations in the US as an indication of its 'true costs', I would point out that this sort of system coupled with the excellent solar resources of the lower 48, and Hawaii, mean that it could be produced on site or in fairly close proximity.

That is practical for hydrogen, as it can be stored in quantity, but not for batteries and electric vehicles without grid backup, generators etc, as the transient load is so high which would need a vast solar array to cope with peak if you did not use storage etc to spread it.

No such constraints for solar to hydrogen, where local solar would avoid the need for transformers etc for long distance transmission of electricity.

It would also, incidentally, provide the most ecological means of buffering electricity for BEV charging.


Further to this rather solitary discussion, which seems to interest no one except myself!, the remaining questions would appear to be maintenance and durability.

From the Nature article:

' The CFE cell also demonstrated sustained stable performance over extended periods from 1 working day to 30 days continuously at 80 °C and room temperature, respectively, with periodic replenishment of the consumed water to the reservoir (Supplementary Fig. 10). Water spontaneously migrated from the reservoir up the separator, possibly under an osmotic as well as a capillary impulse to counteract increases in the KOH concentration in the separator due to water consumption at the electrodes. No KOH build up or crystallisation was observed in or on the separator.'

The higher efficiency in respect to catalyst use would appear to be inherent to the bubble free interface with the catalyst, would be my guess.

There would appear to be good hope of durability.


"Further to this rather solitary discussion, which seems to interest no one except myself!, the remaining questions would appear to be maintenance and durability."

Self-recognition is the first step towards improvement.
WTH is interested in H2-trolls?



Only the numerate are aware that we need hydrogen to decarbonise.

Folk like the IPCC for instance.

So clearly any intelligent discussion is outside your abilities

Have a lovely bath in your prejudices!


They don't talk about gold hydrogen anymore, very disapointing...



See christiaan richter's insightful comment on the Nature article, explaining why we need long term testing to prove whether or not this works one way or another.

There is also important fundamental work going on in understanding what is important in how small pores work, and surprisingly whether they are hydrophobic or hydrophilic appears to be more important than the number of pores:


This has implications for all sorts of things, not just fuel cells, from water filtration to desalination.


If this works as stated and is scalable and cost effective, it is a good thing as 95% efficiency is considerably better than 75% and there is clearly a need for clean hydrogen.

My own recommendation for hydrogen production would be the high temperature Sulfur Iodine reaction using a high temperature nuclear reactor ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulfur%E2%80%93iodine_cycle ) but this requires a temperature in excess of 850 deg C will not be commercially available any time soon. It has a thermal efficiency of about 50% but does not require any electricity and all of the reagents are completely recycled so the only output is H2 and O2.


Hi sd.

As an advocate of nuclear power for 6 decades or so, their ability to produce hydrogen sure can improve the economics.

But one of the reasons I am more dubious than many here about BEVs, as well as the cost of the batteries using current chemistries, is the difficulty in providing power when it is actually needed using renewables.

Hydrogen and other chemicals provide the needed storage to bridge the gap.

With nuclear, you can essentially provide power when it is needed, so they work far better with BEV cars.

So with a lot of nuclear in the energy system, it is far easier to provide charging when it is needed for BEVs.

Just as 'principled opposition' to nuclear power has hindered low carbon electricity for decades, so immoderate advocacy of BEVs whilst simultaneously rejecting nuclear power, which is way easier to use to provide charging for them, seems to me to be fallacious and unrealistic.


Further to Christian's critique of Hysata, the relatively swift rate of fall off of output does not seem to match the notion that the results are due to not producing bubbles, so Hysata's hypothesis may be wrong.

Since they changed several inputs, including notably the separator, an entirely different reason may be behind the initial high output.

Whichever or whatever is the case, it really speaks to the still very early stage understanding of reactions in electrolyzers, and it seems possible that whatever caused the initial high output, it may be possible to harness it.

Early days, but hopeful days.


Posting from Christian's critique:

' 3. The nice de-convolution of contributions to high efficiency the authors did on page 7 of the main text suggests that the main benefit (reduced voltage) come from using i) the PES separator and ii) making sure the anode has a proper electrical contact. The benefits reported in this section due to the bubble mitigation measures are minor. The sPES appears to be the key ingredient.
4. This hypothesis answers the mystery discussed in the reviewer documents of "where does the KOH go". I.e. it provides the KOH sink that the reviewers are puzzling over.
5. This hypothesis explains the relatively large (compared to conventional cells) voltage/performance decay with long term operation (1 month data)'

As he notes, long term tests are the way to go.



"Yes, our blue hydrogen project will increase electricity costs and fossil gas use, but society will benefit"
BS, Shell will benefit at the expense of society.



Why are you putting your own comment and interpretation into quote marks as though it were a quote of what is said in the article or from Shell?

To mislead and misrepresent, it would appear.


I'd recommend you get a new pair of glasses.


Some just have the bad habit of always biting off more than they can chew.

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