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Breakthrough Energy Ventures backs methanol fuel cell company Blue World Technologies

Blue World Technologies announced that the Bill Gates-founded Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) entered as an investor in Blue World Technologies alongside Vaekstfonden (The Sovereign Investment Fund of Denmark), DEUTZ AG, and existing investors who invested back in December 2021 to complete the company’s €37-million series B round.

In connection with the investment from Breakthrough Energy Ventures—partly funded by Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Breakthrough Energy Ventures-Europe (BEV-E)—Blue World Technologies welcomes Allegra Kowalewski-Ferreira, a highly skilled and experienced investment professional to the Board of Directors.

The series B funds will be used for scaling fuel cell production as well as investing in the development of methanol-driven fuel cell applications for the maritime sector. In late 2021, the company insourced all the production of the core fuel cell components and is currently in pre-series production.

As a flexible power solution, the Blue World Technologies methanol fuel cell system can be used for auxiliary power, for smaller gensets or larger power units in the megawatt range, or for propulsion depending on ship type and customer needs.


Later this year, Blue World Technologies will launch series production and with further scaling, the company expects to reach a production capacity of 500 MW within a couple of years.

Maritime shipping is a critical component of our global economy, but it contributes 1 billion metric tons of carbon emissions each year. We see a real opportunity in bringing methanol fuel cells to the maritime sector as a very promising avenue for reaching net-zero CO2 emission quickly. Blue World Technologies has found a unique way to offer marine transportation operators a climate friendly solution with an attractive total cost of ownership.

—Carmichael Roberts of Breakthrough Energy Ventures

Breakthrough Energy Ventures-Europe was established by the European Commission, the European Investment Bank (EIB), and Breakthrough Energy Ventures to invest in innovative European companies and bring radically new clean energy technologies to the market.



Methanol seems to be the way to go to decarbonise shipping.
It is readily available at most ports, although of course work is needed to move to green methanol.

In shipping, methanol to hydrogen is 82% efficient, right now:

And, picking EP's brain, there is a good weight/energy ratio:

'This is actually not bad for hydrogen "storage". 50 grams of MeOH + H20 yields 6 grams H2, or 12%. If you can get the water by capturing the FC exhaust, that goes up to 18.75%.' (comments)

You could also of course if for one reason or another capturing the exhaust from the fuel cell for water was impractical, use desalinated on board sea water, as you are floating in it!

For biggish ships at any rate they are hoping to store the CO2 waste on board to be used in a circular methanol economy.

Here we discuss Hymeth's proposals to store the CO2 in the used methanol tanks:

Hymeth are using a turbogenerator in the system, and methanol works fine in that configuration too.

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