INTERVIEW THP01: Grant Strem / Proton Technologies - Creating Clear Hydrogen And At A Price Point That Will Shock You.

September 14, 2021 • Paul Rodden • Season: 2021 • Interview: 01

Welcome to The Hydrogen Podcast!

Special Interview Series - THP01: Grant Strem, CEO of Proton Technologies, outlines a unique technology to take abandoned oil wells and create “Clear Hydrogen” at a price point that is SHOCKING and almost too good to be true. He discusses his process in detail and it could not only add a substantial revenue stream to the oil and gas industry but also create ESG opportunities as well. Great opportunity for the Hydrogen Industry to showcase its versatility as it pertains to the global Energy Policy.

Thank you for listening and I hope you enjoy the podcast. Please feel free to email me at with any questions. Also, if you wouldn't mind subscribing to my podcast using your preferred platform… I would greatly appreciate it.

Paul Rodden




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Paul Rodden 0:00
Hey everyone, welcome back to the hydrogen podcast I've got a great show for you today with me is Grant Strem, the chair and CEO of Proton Technologies, it's going to be a great one, we're going to play the intro music and then get into the interview. See you in a little bit.

So the big questions in the energy industry today are, how is hydrogen the primary driving force behind the evolution of energy? Where is capital being deployed for hydrogen projects globally? And where are the best investment opportunities for early adopters who recognize the importance of hydrogen? I will address the critical issues and give you the information you need to deploy capital. Those are the questions that will unlock the potential of hydrogen. And this podcast will give you the answers. My name is Paul Rodden, and welcome to The Hydrogen Podcast.

Okay, so I'm really excited about this interview, I'm joined with Grant Strem. Like I said, he's a chair and CEO of Proton Technologies. He's got a Bachelor's in geology, and a master's in reservoir characterization, both from the University of Calgary, he considers himself to be an explorationist and worked for various producers, including Paramount, Burlington Resources, Conoco Phillips, Total, and Husky. Grant also worked as a reserves evaluator for GLJ Petroleum Consultants, and as a research analyst at TD securities covering the oil sands sector. He also started his own company focused on light oil, helium, and geothermal resources. Welcome, Grant, it is great to have you on the podcast.

Grant Strem 1:29
Thanks very much. I'm happy to be here, Paul.

Paul Rodden 1:32
So give us a little bit about your background, kind of where you started and leading up to where you started Proton.

Grant Strem 1:39
Sure, well, yeah, geology, reservoir characterization, I was excited by what is the potential of these large resources that we have. Most of that, in my early career focused on natural gas and the early days of unlocking tighter and tighter lower cost resources, and then move towards heavy oil and oil sands. Also vast resources requiring some technological solutions to unlock them economically, not so different is the what I'm doing now. So all of these resources, a lot of them, the best type of resource play is ones that the wells already exists. So when an oil field gets drained out, well, it actually didn't get drained out, like when it gets to a point where you'd want to abandon a well, it didn't the geology still has a lot of oil in it, it's just no longer economically flowing to a production wellbore. But these wellbores, are still able to access huge amounts of oil and gas. So we can inject oxygen, and react to that oil in place to release the energy from it. Even if we don't physically produce all those molecules, we can produce the hydrogen that's generated that way.

Paul Rodden 2:56
That's amazing. And so that's what led you into starting proton? Or did you kind of just hear about the technology and thought there was a way to move that technology forward?

Grant Strem 3:11
It was, I think, in fairness, it's a combination. So I was out for a meal with one of my old professors from my master's degree. And he showed me a data set that had an amazing amount of hydrogen in the produced gas stream that they accidentally made on the side as a curiosity. BP did this in the 1980s, in Canada. And I said, Wow, if we had some sort of a filter, that we could keep everything in the ground, except for the hydrogen, we'd really have a quite a technology. And he leaned back and said, I think I know of a sort of a material that does that. And that was more or less the birth of proton. We checked the prior art filed a bunch of patents in over 100 countries. It was, I think, a very simple idea, kind of like wheels on suitcases. For decades, people carried their suitcases around. And then some clever guy or gal said, What, why don't we just put wheels on these things. And now you can't buy a suitcase with no wheels. It's just a clever, simple thing that in hindsight, people go, Oh, yeah, good idea. I think this is one of those.

Paul Rodden 4:22
I mean, it's so so often these these simple ideas lead to these aha moments. And it really sounds like that's what it was for you. versus just this this, this idea just clicked and all of a sudden, we have this new revenue stream of hydrogen, that and we can get into some of this later, but like you said, there's zero carbon impact. Your feedstock is already there in the ground. And and tell me tell me a little bit because I love what you've coined this this term as to the color. Can you tell everyone what color you've you've chosen to give this? I love it.

Grant Strem 4:57
Sure.Yeah. Well, first I was trying to Debate back and forth about carbon intensity, which I still think is the better way to go. But there's all this Well, I kept getting, are you green? Are you blue? What are you? Where do you fit in? Like we're not, we're calling ourselves clear hydrogen.

Paul Rodden 4:57
I love it.

Grant Strem 5:14
And we defined it as anything with a carbon intensity lower than zero, can be called clear hydrogen. So and that's true. If you have clear electricity, clear cheese, you know, it can be a product that consumed co2 as it was being made. So just kind of a fun moniker thatseems to be popular.

Paul Rodden 5:36
Because in your technology, and in your process, you don't just create the hydrogen in the wellbore, and let the hydrogen escape You can also inject co2.

Grant Strem 5:49
True, we can take additional co2 and co inject it with the oxygen. And in that way, it gets geologically sequestered and stays down there as accurately as rock. So we can, some of it will naturally start to form carbonates in the system. But we can accelerate that just by actually, it solves another problem, because we can co inject wastewater streams. And that accelerates the production of carbonate within that formation.

Paul Rodden 6:18
Because of the briny nature of the water?

Grant Strem 6:20
Yeah, so for example, if you have a desalination plant, it takes in ocean water, pH is about AIDS, it's 35,000 parts per million, or about three and a half percent is just salt. After it goes through the desalination plant, freshwater comes out one side, but all of those dissolved ions concentrate on the other side. So now the pH is even higher, and you have a huge amount of dissolved ions. If we inject that into the bottom water of our system, all those dissolved ions want to react with the carbonic acid that forms from co2. And it triggers these reactions that make carbonate but they also generate extra hydrogen in within the system.

Paul Rodden 7:01
That's amazing. One of the things I do want to touch on is the risk profile of what you're doing. And I know that that there are a lot of different risk profiles and dealing with hydrogen. But in yours specifically, there are two things that I think really stand out. And one is the technological nature of what you're doing. But also water. You know, being from the desert, I hear about all these green hydrogen projects, and blue also both requiring water to do this, you know, where the where are they going to get their water? I don't think you're going to run into that problem, will you?

Grant Strem 7:37
No, exactly, so that's one of our differentiators. So when I go through the list of are you green or you blue? No, we're not. That's not just carbon intensity that we improve on is not just cost that we improve on. It's not our ecological footprint. But we don't even need fresh water. We can use whatever the oilfield wastewater system already is. There's usually a saline aquifer already associated with an oilfield. And that water can be our hydrogen supply.

Paul Rodden 8:06
So what have you had historically up to now on pilot projects, demonstration projects? And how are those how those gone?

Grant Strem 8:14
Well, that's the beauty of this process, I mentioned how we sort of came up with it. There's been more than 500 projects around the world that did air injection, oxygen injection, or some sort of oxygen enhanced air. So all of them make hydrogen, the ones that did pure oxygen made a lot more hydrogen. So huge, huge amounts of industrial precedent for all of this. It's not, it's not like people have to come out to our demo site and see our hydrogen. You know, they can look at all sorts of academic papers and say, Oh, yeah, there's no question that this, this happens. So from a risk perspective, yeah, it's like it's already been addressed. And then I guess the, the second half of the equation is, assuming you inject oxygen, and it makes hydrogen. Are there ways to separate hydrogen from a mixed gas stream? And the answer is, yes, we've been doing it all over the world industrially for like 90 years, and there's several ways to do it. Oh, okay. So what am I missing here? Nothing. It's straightforward. So we're that Well, actually, that's part of the reason we've been able to sign up... We've sold 20 licenses around the world. Yeah, some to oil companies, some to wind and solar companies, a variety of customers who are interested to drop their cost of energy, or they have a specific need for hydrogen, or they're in a district where carbon taxes are going to destroy them sooner or later. So yeah, it's very helpful for those types of customers.

Paul Rodden 9:47
Well, that actually leads me into my next question and that's marketing your technology with with proton in general. Are you looking to have this as something that you license out, do you want to operate? How are you looking at it as a business model going forward?

Grant Strem 10:03
I think longer term, we will be a dominant producer of this. So it's very easy to buy someone's old oilfield, we've done it. And we'll do a lot we intend to do a lot more of these where basically some company may have produced oil for 30 years, 50 years, however long on some big beautiful oil field. And now it's depressurized to the point that it's become an abandonment liability for them are pending with adamant liability. So then we can come in and buy it for $1, or in some cases, be paid to take that oilfield. We do need the capital to build an air separation unit at that site. So we can repurpose the wells and inject the oxygen. I think we'll do most of that. But I'm trying to get the technology to proliferate as quickly as possible. I think the world needs it.

Paul Rodden 10:52
I think so too.

Grant Strem 10:54
So licenses are definitely on the table, and we're still signing people up.

Paul Rodden 10:59
Yeah, I think you know, so many people that are going to be listening to this or have a background in oil and gas, they understand the issues surrounding PNA'ing. And as well, that it's it's costly, it's time consuming. There's so many regulatory headaches surrounding it. So you can actually come in and alleviate that stress from an operator and just take the well over.

Grant Strem 11:23
Definitely. And I think many of them will be thrilled to throw us the keys and be say have fun, you know, it's often the wrong side of their balance sheet. And they do what they're best at, which is usually primary depletion, or some sort of enhanced recovery, but of hydrocarbons. And the world does still need oil and gas for a variety of reasons making asphalt and...

Paul Rodden 11:47

Grant Strem 11:48
Yeah, it's it's still an important part of our ecosystem. So I'm not against oil production, I just think we can make way more money than making way lower cost hydrogen out of the same assets,

Paul Rodden 12:02
You know, after you get this hydrogen out, are you are you looking to market it to any particular group or any particular clients?

Grant Strem 12:12
Yeah, because we can make it cheaper than natural gas. Baseload electricity is our big easy target market. So just burn it in a turbine. And, you know, there's a huge amount just be like, we have a power purchase agreement with SaskPower, the local utility here. So we'll be doing a whole bunch of, you know, power to the grid, but in a different way than it's usually defined just make hydrogen burn hydrogen, power the grid. There's also a whole bunch of data centers and other on site types of uses for low cost electricity. Ammonia becomes a very easy trajectory for us, because we have, well, our air separation unit gives us nitrogen, in addition to the oxygen. So nitrogen co located where we're producing all this hydrogen, which is also co located with a bunch of turbine exhaust, gives us a big running, those are the ingredients to give us, I guess, a running start for ammonia, which is NH3. So that is already a huge industry worldwide for in fertilizer. And now, he says, and now it's being expanded for international shipments of hydrogen. So people are sending it to Japan from the Middle East and all this.

Paul Rodden 13:29
Yeah, we're reading up on those stories. That's incredible.

Grant Strem 13:31
Yeah, there's a big global fleet of ammonia tankers, it's nothing new. You can put it on rail cars, you know, it's straightforward compared to liquid hydrogen is still more early phase in its transportation potential.

Paul Rodden 13:46
And I think that's that's also another de risk factor in this business model is, is the transportation because that's what everyone talks about to on top of, Okay, well, you can produce it, but how are you going to get it from A to B? Well, there's DME the dimethyl ether is a possibility. But really ammonia is is kind of the the bread and butter around that business. And you already have by your your air separators nitrogen on site, you don't have to tuck it in, you have to bring it in, you don't have to buy it from a separate source, you already have that on site. So that's another...

Grant Strem 14:19
...way more than we can actually use. It's like, what are we going to do with all this nitrogen now? 80% of the air is nitrogen. So yes, we'll have an abundance of essentially free nitrogen off the backside. And right yet right on site for making ammonia if we choose to.

Paul Rodden 14:36
So the next big point that I want to hit on, and I think there's going to, it's going to bring out a lot of skeptics is your price point. Can you lead us to your price point? I mean, it's amazing.

Grant Strem 14:50
Yeah. So in a levelized cost basis, we expect to be at 25 cents a kilogram. And a lot of people say well, how's that possible? You know, the there's huge industry that's grown up for 100 years doing steam methane reforming, you know, the best ones of those are just slightly under $1 a kilogram. So for us, it's something that we can do it that's, you know, a very different cost structure, steam methane reforming, they're always buying their fuel, methane, natural gas. So, you know, that's one thing that we chop out, we just get all this unswept oil that's inside an oilfield. And that's our fuel supply, we don't have to build a big reaction vessel at surface. So steam methane reforming has all its high temperature piping and reaction vessels that they have to build and maintain, we use geology. So the natural seal for the oil and gas field that's held back pressure from oil and gas for millions of years is actually, you know, what holds in the pressure in high temperature reactions. We stay below the virgin reservoir pressure. So we don't, you know, we never want to have any sort of fractured rock in the cap rock as a result of this. But yeah, I guess, you know, from a cost structure perspective, use the ground as your reaction vessel, and it's already pre loaded with decades, or centuries of fuel. That is a better cost structure.

Paul Rodden 16:19
You know, so many, a lot of people in oil and gas talk about that, right? That oil and gas versus battery technology, you know, batteries are the storage device, we have to put it in and it gets depleted over time, it doesn't really sit there for very long, you have to recharge the batteries. Whereas with oil and gas, it's already built into its own storage, natural storage device. So you can just extract it whenever you want. And I guess the model still holds true for you, you can just produce as much hydrogen as you need to going forward depending on demand.

Grant Strem 16:53
Yes, and the amount of storage within the reservoir that you know, if we want to dial up hydrogen or down in a given day to offset renewables, for example, we do have some control over that. But it's not the primary intention, we do. The main intention is to run it steady, bring it to surface, often you can store hydrogen if the if the purpose is just to burn, burn the hydrogen in a turbine. And it doesn't have to be fuel cell purity. So fuel cells need very, very pure hydrogen, for that will probably liquefy it, load it onto trucks and send off that portion. But if it's just going into a turbine, we can actually mix it with methane. And that's potentially part of the distribution. And even if we store it in a natural, depleted natural gas storage thing, and there's some contaminant methane that comes with it, if it's going through a turbine, that's not the end of the world, that there's some trace methane that goes along with it.

Paul Rodden 17:50
Yeah, because I mean, natural gas does release co2, but it is not nearly as bad as coal, for instance, burning coal or, or straight oil, as far as co2 release.

Grant Strem 18:01
True. But your points more, it's more about the infrastructure. So I don't want to have to, you know, wash out a salt cavern every time we do a project for some intermittent supply. If we have an overabundance, just sell it into the natural gas line. And if we're making it cheaper per Giga joule, the natural gas that's profitable to and in fact, that can be part of the initial backstop for the construction of a new facility, is if there's a giant offtake agreement... Yes, we'll take hydrogen into this pipeline up to 10% or 5%, through whatever, that is still good economics for us. If we can divert some to higher value markets, like the retail fueling market. Yeah, we will, we'll definitely divert it to whoever's gonna pay the most. But yeah, usually that initial backstop can be very large volume things in the natural gas space that we're used to.

Paul Rodden 18:55
And you know, I liked what you said earlier being in Texas and having the snowpocalypse this year that we had, so we got it look got a little snippet of your winter and with the grid failing. I liked what you had to say about injecting your product (the hydrogen) directly into some turbines for helping out with grids. I think that would be huge here in the state. And I'm sure that there are other micro grid opportunities for your technology, globally.

Grant Strem 19:24
Yeah, there are and it doesn't have to be micro grid. It can be, you know, thousands of megawatts. This has big potential.

Paul Rodden 19:32
Yeah, I mean, that that really is kind of the the number right is the gigawatt power number. That's kind of the holy grail that everyone's trying to go to on, on their hydrogen power plants.

Grant Strem 19:43
Yeah, it is. Although if you look at the relative economics of anything you've probably read about compared to just burning natural gas. I can almost assure you that none of them are lower costs than just burning natural gas in the turbine. We are exceptional to that we can make hydrogen cheaper than natural gas and an overall cost for a gigawatt, our method is cheaper than a gigawatt using hydrogen sorry, methane through a turbine.

Paul Rodden 20:09
One last thing on on your company specificly is now how are you looking to grow? Where are you wanting to grow? Are you looking to just kind of do a grassroots campaign and grow organically? Or what? What's your your thoughts on the future for Proton?

Grant Strem 20:25
Well, we feel a lot of calls from all over the world. And we're basically trying to be responsive to judge the seriousness of the counter party who phones in. And there are some some hotspots, the North Sea countries are totally, totally committed to decarbonizing. Some of that's for political reasons. Some of that's for environmental reasons. And whatever the reasons, they are super, super eager to start building out as fast and large scale as possible. In the Houston area, we actually have a whole bunch of people who want to make electricity, ammonia...

Paul Rodden 21:00
Come on down...

Grant Strem 21:01
...sell trucking fleets. Thank you. I think we will. Probably Yeah, you'll probably see some announcements related to that sort of q1, I hope it's kind of herding cats for now. Okay? You so we want to, you want you want this, okay? Sign this off take agreement, okay. And then the next thing, you know, there's lawyers going back and forth for ages. And if there's a whole bunch of counter parties, and we're trying to upsize the production from one site to make it more efficient for everybody. It's lining up all of these so that financing the construction gets very straightforward.

Paul Rodden 21:34
That's fantastic. I'm, you know, I want to see, I want to see you succeed. And as we kind of transition into just kind of talking about the hydrogen market and the industry. What I really like to impress upon people is, you know, I'm not a, I'm not a green person, not a blue person. I just, I'm more of just a hydrogen of a hydrogen mindset moving forward, I think it's, we all know, it's the most abundant, it's a great fuel source. And what I don't like to see are all is all this bickering between Oh, no green is the only way to go, we need to invest in green, no blues is the cheapest, we need to do this. And I think eventually, it's the hydrogen is all going to end up in the same space, it's all going to get mixed together. What's what is your 30,000 foot view on the hydrogen market, the industry and and where it's going to go? Everyone kind of talks about this 2050 shift, right? That it's gonna do you think it's gonna happen before then after then what are your thoughts about it?

Grant Strem 22:30
They're the main plans are talking about green and blue, as you've said, the way I think about those, they will they are building out market, they are building out infrastructure, there's, there's a whole bunch of progress in both of those. And when you look at the relative cost of either compared to diesel and gasoline, it is already cheaper by both of those paths. So for me, I'm very passionate about air pollution and the unnecessary deaths it causes. So if it means that we can run hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in cities, instead of continuing to burn oil, like the 100 years ago idea, yes, it did help raise us all out of poverty and so forth. But it's making us very sick and killing us. So if there is something cheaper, and better, that doesn't have those effects, I think all of that should be accepted and pursued. So I'm not picky about it. I think carbon intensity is a ruler, that is a fair measure between the two. So wind and solar to electrolysis. If you look at the construction, the materials, the cement, and steel, the transportation, the power lines, all of the pieces that decommissioning everything that's required to eventually, well, all of those parts have a carbon intensity that is more than zero by lifecycle analysis. And it's in probably a little better than blue on average. But blue is still both of those are still way better than what we're doing today on a on a global scale. So yeah, I applaud that move. And I hope that at some point in fusion power, or some other disruptive force, can make massive improvements on both carbon intensity and cost especially. Cost is the big one that is going to determine the pace of change. So a process like ours, I think a lot of people just aren't aware of us. But yeah, this thing comes in a lot cheaper than natural gas. That means we're a lot lot lot cheaper than diesel and gasoline. So if people want to fill up their pickup truck for like eight or $10, you know, instead of whatever they're paying for diesel and gasoline, and they're not, you know, polluting and your neighbors aren't getting ill. I think a lot of people would make the switch just on the economic basis. And so that will rapidly accelerate it. It's like the transition from whale oil to kerosene. It didn't happen because everyone loved whales. It happened because kerosene was like 10 times cheaper. So which one do you want to burn in your lab? Right? Yeah,

Paul Rodden 25:00
and you know, so the conservative side of me loves those two things. One, the economics of what you're bringing to the table and where the industry as a whole is moving on hydrogen and making everything cheaper, both on the the software improvements and the actual hardware improvements. But also the fact that you're, you're still able to utilize existing infrastructure. And that's one of the things that I really like, is, you know, we're not, you know, the the whole thing of while back of pipeline workers can now make solar panels. That's, that's the easiest transition.

Grant Strem 25:36
Kinda. Yeah.

Paul Rodden 25:38
But with yours, you know, you are still using existing infrastructure. And it I think, would help ease the transition, right, from Standard Oil and gas drilling to taking this technology and applying it to the same reservoir. You know, you can, you're using a lot of the existing infrastructure, and I think that's really, really beneficial to the to the hydrogen movement and getting your oil and gas, which you can agree with me is a bit risk averse into accepting this new way of making fuel.

Grant Strem 26:12
Yeah, I agree with you. It's one of these things that these trillions of dollars of infrastructure that are built up, they built up around the old oil fields. So somebody in the Houston region had a big oil discovery way back when and so they built a refinery, and they built power lines. And if you look where all the big infrastructure for energy is co located, it's right where the big old best oil fields for us are. So these trillions of dollars that over generations have been invested in in terms of energy infrastructure, including the wells. It's a very straightforward fit. And in terms of skill sets, we still want geophysicists and reservoir engineers and pipe fitters and welders that are more or less applying the same skills, they always have, maybe the pipes need a slightly different grade of metallurgy. So for example, for the oxygen injection wells, we do you need a new wellhead that can handle that. And the injection tubing has to be oxygen compatible. On the hydrogen production side, many existing systems will work but not all of them. So sometimes we need H2S grade piping and to be replacing that, because the hydrogen embrittlement challenge,

Paul Rodden 27:26
which is still existing your point?

Grant Strem 27:30
Yeah, the same guys who like we ordered our oxygen capable wellhead from like a big reputable oil and gas wellhead supplier? And it was no big deal to them. Yeah, there'll be, there'll be a lot of sustained jobs, you know, in a way that's less disruptive to our society.

Paul Rodden 27:49
I think that's fantastic. I love it. All right. One of the things we didn't talk about, and I didn't want to put you on the spot, because I didn't include it on anything is, you know, how do you envision the infrastructure getting built out here? Because that's, that's the biggest thing, right is we don't have the infrastructure to support fuel cell vehicles, which I want, you know, I want these fuel cell vehicles. We don't have the infrastructure to support it. How are we going to get there?

Grant Strem 28:15
I think a lot of it starts with sort of the virtual pipeline, if you're talking about fuel cell vehicles, there's going to be a hub and spoke model. So in, there's usually in most of the big North American centers, not all of them. There are some exceptions. But there's an old oil field somewhere in the neighborhood. So basically, it'll be probably essentially free for people to go there and fill up. And if we have to truck it as liquid hydrogen further out from there, in the early days, because the diesel and gasoline prices are so high. To give you a sense of scale, we can truck from our field site to San Francisco, like Saskatchewan to San Francisco. It's about $3 a kilogram for trucking the liquid hydrogen. So if they're selling it for like 12, or 15 bucks a kilogram, yeah, there's these wild arbitrage opportunities where Yes, it'll just be the virtual pipeline that you'll see. Instead of these big tanker trucks driving all over the highways, you'll see hydrogen trucks, liquid hydrogen trucks driving all over. So there are ways so let's see, we inject up to 20%, hydrogen or even 40%, hydrogen for pipeline. There are some fairly straightforward ways to get the hydrogen out at the far end. So that's, that's one thing that we'll likely see more of. Technologically, it's not already sort of widespread, but I think we'll see that start to be more common. So it allows us to partially use big existing natural gas pipelines and infrastructure. At some point, though, it's going to be well, let's just build a pure hydrogen pipe in it's going to be at first, you know, to support a nearby population base. Maybe if we have a project 80 miles from Houston, tying in hydrogen pipeline to Houston and the distribution network is to at least a couple of main areas, that's going to be relatively straightforward. And we should expect to see that. And then as the volume of hydrogen grows and grows and grows and displaces more and more, and the demand for lower costs, energy goes up clean energy, there's going to be I think, the justifications for very large pipeline infrastructure and export terminals and all that.

Paul Rodden 30:42
That's kind of our time today. Is there anything else you wanted to highlight before we close out?

Grant Strem 30:48
I usually like to dwell for a little extra on air pollution. It's this ongoing crisis. And it's crazy that we aren't working hard to solve it. Millions of people per year are dying around the world. And we have a huge spotlight in the media on, you know, if a plane crashes, like, wow, let's have a frenzy of concern. But if you look at how many people die per minute, from air pollution, it's like, this is a crazy crisis, it's almost 10 million people a year that die from air pollution. And that doesn't include all the suffering and asthma and chronic inflammations and lower IQ, other other environmental problems that we get. But when you think about the math, there's only like, just shy of 8 billion of us. So if there's about 10 million deaths per year out of 8 billion related to air pollution, like that's more than a one in 1000 chance that you or me or your friend, or whoever is going to die from air pollution. that statistic is just totally bananas. And it's an ongoing crisis, that hydrogen can be a huge part of stopping.

Paul Rodden 31:57
I think it really can be and you know, I don't I don't have the statistics in front of me. And I don't know exactly where the bulk of those deaths are taking place. I would, I would imagine it somewhere like India, China, where it's really bad. Maybe Brazil, Russia, where the air quality is really bad. I mean, we remember the was at the Shanghai Olympics where they didn't allow anyone to drive for the month before and the air completely cleared out. I think you're right, I think hydrogen is a great solution to this. There are other technologies in hydrogen too like the waste to gas, the plasma gasification that can just take solid waste in and push hydrogen out. There's, there's so many technologies surrounding hydrogen, that can just lead to such a cleaner future that are still economic. You know, I think, because it all plays into a part, the economics and the Clean Air. They are economic, and we can move forward with it.

Grant Strem 32:49
I saw a map on the internet that suggested of the US it was like air pollution deaths by state. And if I remember, right, I think it said 350,000 deaths a year in the US from air pollution. That's like, way more than your wars that you have overseas and all that stuff. It's It's crazy. So it isn't not just a problem where people are burning dung in a mud hut or something that is, you know, worse, potentially. But it's definitely a global international big city challenge.

Paul Rodden 33:21
Yeah. And I think I think we all in this hydrogen industry right now s ee it and want to help.

Grant Strem 33:30
Yeah, awesome. All right. You know, I think it is we'll make a lot of money as we reduce the cost of energy. So that helps too.

Paul Rodden 33:42
And I think I think your company is right on track. Your price point is incredible. And the technology I love. I love calling it clear hydrogen. I think that's brilliant. All right. Thank you so much for being here today. Thank you, everyone, for joining us today on the hydrogen podcast. As always, if you have any questions, comments or concerns about today's episode, you can come and visit me at my website at And Grant what is... if anyone wants to come and check out Proton, where can they go to look at

Grant Strem 34:14 And if you go to with an email, we'll be happy to follow up with you. Thanks for having me on, Paul.

Paul Rodden 34:24
Absolutely. Thanks.

Hey, this is Paul. I hope you'd liked this podcast. If you did want to hear more. I'd appreciate it if you would either Subscribe to this channel on YouTube, or connect with your favorite platform through my website at Thanks for listening. I very much appreciate it. Have a great day.


email is best


I would greatly appreciate it if you would share my podcast with someone that would benefit from it.

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