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Element 1 and NEXA Capital form JV to bring methanol-based hydrogen generation to aerospace sector

Element 1 Corporation (e1) and NEXA Capital Partners LLC (NEXA) formed a new joint venture named Hydrogen Aviation Development Company (HADC or the JV). HADC is a special purpose energy company that will commercialize e1’s proprietary methanol-to-hydrogen generation technology for fuel cell applications within the aerospace sector including:

  • Grid independent charging of electric aircraft.

  • Grid independent charging of airport equipment, service vehicles and airport based rental cars.

  • Hydrogen refueling for fuel cell aircraft and ground vehicles residing at airports.

Element 1’s L-Series hydrogen generator uses advanced fuel reforming and hydrogen purification technology to convert a mixture of methanol and water into fuel cell grade high-purity hydrogen, on-site and on-demand.

Upon formation of the JV, e1 granted HADC a worldwide exclusive license to its technology for all aerospace applications. The license also grants HADC the ability to exploit e1’s hydrogen generation technology for charging ground-based service equipment and battery-electric cars residing at airports.

The hydrogen generators being deployed by HADC under license from e1 are the world’s only scalable hydrogen generators that produce high purity fuel cell grade hydrogen from methanol, which is increasingly being derived from renewable sources such as biomass or renewable electricity and captured carbon dioxide.

Airports have yet to develop grid capacity for the anticipated future need of new hybrid electric aircraft and battery electric rental car fleets. HADC represents both a permanent and interim solution to recharge electric aircraft, rental cars, and ground equipment in any quantity cost effectively utilizing e1’s methanol-to-hydrogen technology.

Methanol is widely available and can be easily, cheaply and safely transported to any airport processing facility. The supply chain replicates that of the current delivery and storage of jet fuel.

NEXA and Element 1 will begin moving this technology into the aerospace manufacturing supply chain immediately, and through their newly formed partnership are expected to tap policies and funding from the recently enacted $1.2-trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (HR 3684). The legislation calls for the development of a sector-by-sector national strategy and roadmap to facilitate a clean hydrogen economy. In 3684, explicit mention is made of methanol as a practical hydrogen-carrier.

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