THP-E180: Chevron Partners With Raven Sr And Hyzon To Accelerate Waste To Hydrogen Revolution. Also, Time To Bust Some Hydrogen Myths.

January 12, 2023 • Paul Rodden • Season: 2023 • Episode: 180

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Welcome to The Hydrogen Podcast!

In episode 180, Raven SR, with a huge announcement in California. And I discuss an opinion piece about hydrogen myths, all of this on today’s hydrogen podcast.

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Paul Rodden



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Raven SR, with a huge announcement in California. And I discuss an opinion piece about hydrogen myths, 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 January 9, Raven Sr, Chevron and Hyzon Motors collaborate to produce hydrogen from green waste in Northern California. Raven Sr, renewable fuels company, Chevron new energies, a division of Chevron USA, Inc, a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation and Hyzon motors. On January 9, announced they are collaborating to commercialize operations of a green waste to hydrogen production facility in Richmond intended to supply hydrogen fuel to transportation markets in Northern California. The facility will be owned by a newly formed company Raven Sr S one LLC or Raven SRS one. Raven Sr, will be the operator of the facility which is targeted to come online in the first quarter of 2024. Chevron holds a 50% equity stake in Raven SR one, Raven SR holds a 30% stake and Hyzon owns the remaining 20%.

To produce the hydrogen The project is expected to divert up to 99% Wet tons of green and food waste per day from Republic Services West Contra Costa sanitary landfill into its non combustion steam co2 reformation process, producing up to 2400 metric tons per year of renewable hydrogen. Diversion of this organic waste will help fulfill California’s SB 1383 mandates and we’ll potentially avoid up to 7200 metric tons per year of co2 emissions from the landfill. In addition, ravens technology uses no fresh water and important element giving drought risks in California and uses less electricity to power its units than competing processes. The project is expected to produce at least 60% of its own electricity by upgrading the currently permitted and zoned landfill gas electric generators at the landfill, further reducing both the current air emissions and the need for grid power for its non combustion process.

Chevron plans to market its share of the hydrogen in Bay Area and Northern California fueling stations enabling the energy transition to zero emission vehicles. hyzon a global supplier of fuel cell electric commercial vehicles plans to provide refueling for hydrogen fuel cell trucks at a hydrogen hub in Richmond. In a quote from Matt Murdock, CEO of Raven, our strategic partners commitment to the first non combustion steam co2 facility in the world will help drive our commercial operations in Richmond and accelerate similar facilities globally. This facility will be the first hydrogen production plant in the world to reduce greenhouse gases including critically important short lived climate pollutants through its process and its product. By removing waste from the landfill, it will help reduce methane emissions.

Not only will the Greater Richmond community benefit from reduced emissions, investments and jobs, it will also see the economic benefits as local gas stations have a consistent supply of clean zero carbon hydrogen fuel for fuel cell vehicles. We are grateful to work with partners who share our mission to make cleaner fuel options available as soon as possible. Now ahead of the teaming with Raven SR on the Raven Sr s one facility Chevron and Hyzon were among Raven SRS initial strategic investors along with ITOCHU, Ascent Hydrogen Fund and Samsung Ventures and a quote from Austin Knight vice president of hydrogen for Chevron new energies. We are excited about this collaboration and our expanded commitment to Raven and its waste to hydrogen technology. Not only are we positioned to commercialize a first of its kind lower carbon hydrogen project, we are working to reduce emissions in a community in which we have a long and proud history. With a relatively short lead time we will be able to further develop the hydrogen ecosystem in the region. The Raven SR technology is a non combustion thermal chemical reductive process that converts organic waste and landfill gas to hydrogen and Fischer-Tropsch’s synthetic fuels.

Unlike other hydrogen production technologies, it steams co2 Reformation does not require fresh water as a feedstock and uses less than half the energy of electrolysis The process is more efficient than conventional hydrogen production and can deliver fuel with low to negative carbon intensity. Additionally, Raven Sr. ‘s goal is to generate as much of its own power on site as possible to reduce reliance on and or be independent of the grid. Its modular design provides a scalable means to locally produce renewable hydrogen and synthetic liquid fuels from local waste. And in a quote from Parker Meeks Hyzon, president and interim CEO, the Richmond hub enables a local renewable hydrogen ecosystem by aligning hydrogen production, refueling infrastructure and vehicle availability geographically and technologically. This alignment is expected to reduce total cost of fleet operators accelerating the transition to zero emissions vehicles and global decarbonisation. He also said this marks a significant step in demonstrating the commercial viability of a localized low to negative carbon intensity hydrogen ecosystem.

Through Hyzon’s partnership with Raven, hydrogen can supply and can be synchronized with the demand for hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles. Ravens deployment of a scalable hydrogen production facility allows supply and demand to grow together as clean hydrogen for transport continues to gain market and regulatory support. Alright, so a monster announcement and something that is absolutely critical to the development of hydrogen, not only in the US, but specifically in California, where fuel cell vehicles are struggling to get the hydrogen they need on a day to day basis. Now, we’ve been covering here at the podcast Raven Sr for some time, and for good reason. Their technology is amazing. They’re well funded, they’re led by a great group of people. And I believe their vision for a hydrogen future is the most realistic and attainable. And so a huge congratulations to Raven, Sr, Chevron and Hyzon for making this a reality. I can’t wait to see where you go from here. And lastly, I came across an opinion piece in renewable energy that I think should be addressed. The title of the piece is five fossil fuel industry myths about hydrogen. And I’d like to go through these one by one and see if we can’t either debunk or find some common ground when discussing the hydrogen economy with renewable energy proponents.

And so in the opinion piece written by Abbe Ramanan, Myth number one is hydrogen is emissions free. The author writes while hydrogen does not produce carbon dioxide when combusted. It does produce high amounts of the air pollutant nitrogen oxide. In fact, hydrogen produces six times the amount of NoX as natural gas when combusted. Okay, I would say that’s a bit of a misleading statement hydrogen in and of itself is emissions free, but yes, when combusted and that hydrogen mixes with the oxygen it does produce nitrogen oxide. But in the same way that catalytic converters now in vehicles capture harmful pollutants, they would continue to collect that NOX to reduce those emissions. So it really becomes the trade off. Do you want to release co2 into the atmosphere? Or do you want to allow the catalytic converter to collect that Nox and convert it into something else. And also keep in mind that is just for hydrogen combustion. That does not happen in fuel cells. Myth number two green hydrogen can help meet decarbonisation goals.

First, Abbe discusses how green hydrogen is made with renewable energy. And then says while there may be very specific uses for green hydrogen, and hard to decarbonize sectors, such as aviation, it is also a huge energy user, undercutting renewable energy that could be going directly towards decarbonizing the grid. And I would just say on this point, I don’t think anyone is ever really thinking about using renewable energy to directly make hydrogen during peak times, they’re only looking at using renewable energy to make hydrogen during off peak times, or when more energy is being made than can be delivered to the grid for initial use. Those are the primary opportune times to begin making hydrogen off of the renewable grid when it would otherwise be wasted. Myth number three is hydrogen can be safely blended in existing pipelines. Sure, it’s even at very low levels of blending, hydrogen can crack seal pipelines through a process known as embrittlement, leading to explosions and high amounts of leakage.

And I would say this is partially true. We know that hydrogen embrittlement occurs in steel pipelines in existing natural gas pipelines. And I’ve had several discussions with oil and gas operators about blending. And really, according to them, what it boils down to is inline turbulence. If there’s a high amount of turbulence within the pipeline, there’s No problem blending. The problem occurs when everything settles and the hydrogen floats to the top of the pipeline and starts eating away at that steel. Now, of course, if you have a hydrogen ready pipeline, that’s not going to be the case, this is only the case in hydrogen blending in existing natural gas pipelines. It all boils down to the flow rate and turbulence inside the pipeline. And in myth number four, Abbe writes, hydrogen will save money. She says hydrogen behaves very differently than natural gas. In addition to pipeline issues mentioned before. Most emissions control technologies and natural gas power plants are not equipped to handle large amounts of hydrogen. This means that beyond very low levels of blending, any pre existing infrastructure will need to be retrofitted to safely use hydrogen, which is an expensive endeavor, I would say yes, it is an expensive endeavor.

There are tests going on right now to see what happens with hydrogen at very low mixture rates five to 10%. But really what we’re talking about with power plants and hydrogen, are new power plants getting developed, such as the Intermountain power project, and the Orange County Advanced Power Station in Orange County, Texas. And those are two of several new power stations being built now, that will utilize a new turbine for Mitsubishi, that will work with both hydrogen and natural gas. And myth number five, Abbe writes, hydrogen does not contribute to global warming. She writes, hydrogen is an indirect greenhouse gas that extends the life of methane in the atmosphere. Due to a small molecular size, hydrogen is extremely prone to leakage. A recent study found that based on current projections, global hydrogen leakage rates can be up by six and a half percent by 2050, producing the roaming equivalent of 100 million to 200 billion tons of co2 in the atmosphere. And to this, I would say, you know, anytime that we’re using a gas for its energy content, we have to be worried about and look for leakage opportunities.

Technological developments right now, are advancing rapidly in ways to identify leakage of co2, methane, and even hydrogen. Things like LIDAR equipped drones can actually identify these different types of gases as they’re escaping from either pipelines or points on the ground, such as refineries. And these are quick and easy solutions for identifying leaks out in the field. And I have also developed Plume model analyses for hydrogen that can identify plume zones for toxic area, flammable area and blast area analysis. All of these need to be used in concert to really make sure we have the safest way possible forward in the transportation and development of hydrogen. And so hopefully, if any of you out there are listening, hear these arguments from certain people, this will give you a little bit of a baseline with which to interact on those myths described earlier.

All right. That’s it for me, everyone. If you have a second, I would really appreciate it. If you could leave a good review on whatever platform it is that you listen to Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google, YouTube, whatever it is, that would be a tremendous help to the show. And as always, if you ever 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.