THP-E137: Could Pyrolysis Hydrogen Be The Best Bet For The Future Of H2 Generation?

August 08, 2022 • Paul Rodden • Season: 2022 • Episode: 137

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Welcome to The Hydrogen Podcast!

In episode 137, American Airlines makes a big investment in hydrogen. And a new hydrogen production company has a big series a funding round. All of this on today’s hydrogen podcast.

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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American Airlines makes a big investment in hydrogen. And a new hydrogen production company has a big series a funding round. All of this on today’s hydrogen podcast.

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.

In a press release on August 3, American Airlines announces investment in hydrogen electric engine developer ZeroAvia American Airlines on August 3 announced its investment in ZeroAvia, a leader in hydrogen electric zero emission aviation. In addition to the investment, a Memorandum of Understanding provides American the opportunity to order up to 100 engines from ZeroAvia hydrogen electric powertrain development program. The engines are intended to power regional jet aircraft with zero emissions and a quote from Derek Carr American’s chief financial officer. Our investment is ZeroAvia is emerging hydrogen electric engine technology has the potential to play a key role in the future of sustainable aviation. We’re excited to contribute to this industry development and look forward to exploring how these engines can support the future of our airline as we build American Airlines to thrive forever.

ZeroAvia is working to achieve certain types of certifications of its innovative propulsion technology that will pave the way for the engines to be incorporated into the regional jet market in the future. The za 2000 rj power train is anticipated to enable passengers to fly in zero emission regional jets as early as the late 2020s. And getting a quote from ZeroAvia founder and CEO Val Miftakhov. Having support from the world’s largest airline is a strong indication of the progress we’re making on the development of hydrogen electric zero emission flight. We are focused on delivering sustainable travel and are delighted that American a visionary leader in the industry see ZeroAvia as a part of the future of aviation. This investment showcases another action on Americans path to achieve its aggressive climate goals, including achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. In addition to the strategy and progress outlined by Americans recently published, environmental, social and governance report other recent sustainability efforts by the airline include receiving the industry’s first ever course yes certified batch of sustainable aviation fuel from Neste, reaching an agreement to purchase 500 million gallons of SAF over five years from Gevo, Inc American’s most significant SAF commitment to date, and become the first airline globally to receive validation from the science based targets initiative for its 2035 greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.

Okay, so American Airlines doubling down on their greenhouse gas emission reduction efforts by partnering with ZeroAvia now over the last couple of years ZeroAvia has made huge strides in their development of hydrogen in aviation. So it’s no surprise to see that American is partnering with them. Now because this information is so new, it’s hard to see what kind of impact this is going to have on American Airlines stock, although over the past week they have seen solid growth. But judging by the way hydrogen stocks are performing right now, I would venture to believe that this news will only help to elevate the current growth pattern for American Airlines stocks. Next, in a press release on August 1. Aurora hydrogen raises $10 million to develop emission free low cost hydrogen technology. Aurora hydrogen, a company developing emission free hydrogen production technology has raised $10 million in series a funding led by energy innovation capital. Participating investors include Williams, shell ventures Chevron Technology Ventures and the George Kaiser Family Foundation. This funding adds to additional funding by the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada that the team received earlier this year.

As the world looks to quickly decarbonize transportation and industry. Hydrogen demand is expected to increase dramatically from $130 billion today to two and a half trillion and 2025. This according to the hydrogen Council, there is an urgent need to develop new low cost and low carbon technologies for hydrogen production. Aurora hydrogen is scaling their proprietary and highly efficient microwave pyrolysis technology to produce hydrogen and solid carbon without generating co2 emissions, or consuming water. Auroras technology is highly scalable with units that can supply a broad range of applications from distributed fuelling to hydrogen injection and industrial processes. hydrogen production from the Aurora technology has the potential to significantly reduce global co2 emissions by over 900 million tonnes per year.

Additionally, Aurora uses 80% less electricity than electrolysis, the conventional method for producing clean hydrogen, requiring far less electrical generation capacity per kilogram of hydrogen. And unlike electrolysis, the process does not require water as a feedstock preserving another critical and scarce resource and a quote from the CEO of Aurora hydrogen Andrew Gillis. At Aurora we’re producing low cost hydrogen at the point of views at the exact scale required without generating any co2. We use existing energy pipelines and distribution systems to move the energy then produce the hydrogen where it’s needed, eliminating the need for any new costly hydrogen transportation infrastructure. The recent funding will be used to build and operate a 200 kilogram of hydrogen per day demonstration plant for field trials in Edmonton Canada, current hydrogen production is either expensive and distributed or low cost and centralized, requiring additional cost to transport Aurora this technology has the potential to unlock many new hydrogen markets and applications by providing low cost hydrogen at the point of use, fast tracking the path to decarbonisation, and heavy transportation, residential and commercial heating and many industrial processes.

In a quote from Christopher Smith, Managing Director of Energy Innovation, capital, energy innovation capital invest in innovative companies commercializing and technology for clean, abundant and affordable energy. For All, Aurora is novel and thermodynamically sound approach has the opportunity to decarbonize the current carbon intensive hydrogen industry, and lead the commercialization of new low carbon hydrogen applications. The team at Aurora is uniquely positioned to produce hydrogen in one of the fastest, most economical and cleanest ways ever seen on the market. Aurora hydrogens founding team is made up of Andrew Gillis, Erin Bobicki and Murray Thomson. Andrew Gillis has spent over a decade in the development skill up and commercialization of clean technology and the natural resource industry. Erin Bobicki is a world leading expert in novel applications of microwave energy for industrial processes. And Murray Thompson is a world leading expert in thermal fluid reactions with a focus on combustion and pyrolysis. And again, in a quote from Christopher Smith, Aurora has assembled an impressive strategic investor syndicate to commercialize and scale emissions free hydrogen that includes two of the world’s largest energy companies, and a leading us energy infrastructure company.

Aurora can be a significant contributor to achieving global net zero targets and is very well aligned with ei C’s focus on the future of energy, Chevron’s commitment to industrial, decarbonisation and energy decentralization shell strategy to invest in low carbon energy and Williams hydrogen development program, the syndicate provides Aurora a powerful commercialization platform with global reach. Okay, so congratulations to Aurora hydrogen for this big series a funding round. Now, it’s no secret that I love pyrolysis for hydrogen production. And if this press release is any indication, Aurora has a huge future in front of it, especially if they can scale their technology. But really, what I’m hoping to see sooner than later, are some of the economics behind their technology, like their development price point, or their facility startup costs. Because both of those numbers will determine just how practical this technology is to develop, or how soon they would be able to scale up their technology.

All right, that’s it for me, everyone. If you have a second, I would really appreciate it. If you can leave a good review on whatever platform it is that you listen to Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google, whatever it is, that would be a tremendous help to the show. And as always, if you have any feedback, you’re welcome to email me directly at And as always, take care. Stay safe. I’ll talk to you later.

Hey, this is Paul. I hope you liked this podcast. If you did and 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.