THP-E289: Will Geologic Hydrogen Become The Go To Tech For Low Cost Hydrogen?

Paul Rodden • Season: 2024 • Episode: 289

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Welcome to The Hydrogen Podcast!

In episode 289, A US bipartisan bill just passed we’ll take hydrogen soaring to new heights, and a geologic hydrogen company secures a massive capital raise. I’ll go over these stories and give my thoughts on today’s hydrogen podcast.

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Paul Rodden



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Start Here: The 6 Main Colors of Hydrogen


A US bipartisan bill just passed we’ll take hydrogen soaring to new heights, and a geologic hydrogen company secures a massive capital raise. I’ll go over these stories and give my thoughts 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 February 9, key US Senate committee passes Senator Ossoff rep. Johnson’s bipartisan bill to advance adoption of hydrogen energy for aviation. US Senator Jon Ossoff, bipartisan bill to advance the development of hydrogen energy for aviation passed a key US Senate committee. Senator Ossoff. Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina and Congressman Hank Johnson’s bipartisan hydrogen aviation strategy Act passed the US Senate Commerce science and transportation committee. As part of this year’s Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization. The bipartisan bill will jumpstart public and private sector engagement to advance the study and development of hydrogen energy for use in aviation. And a quote from Senator Ossoff. hydrogen energy is a promising opportunity to create Georgia jobs, strengthen American energy security and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in multiple sectors, including transportation. He also said this week we advanced my bipartisan bill strengthen research and innovation of hydrogen as a next generation fuel for the aviation sector. And in a quote from Hank Johnson, a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and aviation subcommittee, exploring the use of hydrogen as part of the solution to decarbonizing the aviation industry is a win win. He also said it means good paying jobs, many of them union jobs, greater energy security and a pathway to meeting our vision of net zero greenhouse gas emissions in the US by 2050. He says he appreciates working with Senator Ossoff and Senator Graham, to make this bipartisan push to make things in America. The bipartisan hydrogen aviation strategy Act would require the FAA to establish new goals to use hydrogen energy for aviation require the agency to consult NASA, industry partners, airlines and hydrogen producers and the advancement of this new technology establish a new advisory committee to develop recommendations on the adoption of hydrogen as an aviation energy source and establish a path for certification of hydrogen powered aircraft. Okay, so great news for the hydrogen industry and I’m sure Jon Gordon with universal hydrogen Val Miftakhov with ZeroAvia are both thrilled with this news. But this bill could have massive downstream impacts far outside of aircraft manufacturers. Think of how much infrastructure is needed in the logistics around hydrogen refueling at airports. Now, the panel I chaired last year at the Reuters North American hydrogen conference was with these two gentlemen as well as Soha Lupescu who is a mastermind when it comes to understanding the nuances of hydrogen integration in airports. And on that panel, we covered hydrogen and air travel. Now had this bill been announced before that conference. I’m sure our discussion would have gone in a much different direction, saying that this bill is now focusing the FAA to work directly with the hydrogen economy in all meaningful ways. What’s also interesting about this bill is who drafted it, Senator Ossoff from Georgia. Now, the southeastern US was notably removed from the US hydrogen hub consideration, but is now home to the massive green hydrogen plug power plant. And this isn’t the only work center Ossoff has done in hydrogen last year, Senator Ossoff and Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols launched the Georgia hydrogen energy brain trust in January to strengthen energy security and attract new economic investment to the state and in 2022, Senator Ossoff with leaders in higher education, transportation, aviation business and more to discuss advancing hydrogen energy and innovation in Georgia. So a big win for hydrogen and aviation and an even bigger win for the southeastern US. Next, in an article in Forbes Bill Gates backed clean fuel startup raises $246 million to aid plans to drill for hydrogen. Alan Ohnsman writes, Koloma, a startup aiming to lead a new industry based on extracting carbon-free hydrogen from natural underground deposits, just raised $245.7 million in a financing round that positions it to stay ahead of competitors in this developing clean energy field. The Denver-based company disclosed the new funds in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Feb. 9, a day after winning a research grant from a U.S. Energy Department program to refine methods to stimulate underground hydrogen production and extract the elemental fuel. The round was led by Khosla Ventures and included investment from Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund and United Airline’s Sustainable Flight Fund. They join previous cleantech backers including Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Energy Impact Partners, boosting Koloma’s total funding to more than $300 million. “We’re grateful to be backed by some of the world’s leading companies and investors in our recent fundraise,” Paul Harraka, Koloma’s chief business officer and cofounder, told Forbes. The closely held company, brought out of stealth by Forbes last year, is commercializing extensive research by Ohio State University geologist Tom Darrah, its CTO and cofounder. He’s spent years studying where hydrogen pockets are most likely to be found and ways that techniques developed by the oil and gas industry can be leveraged to get the resource. Awareness that hydrogen is generated naturally in underground pockets across the U.S. and globally has grown quickly in the past year. A “gusher” of the gas was just found in a mine in Albania, Science reported on Feb. 8. and in a quote from Darrah, i“It’s on every continent. The scale of how much there is profound,”. His research lab for Koloma recently moved into OSU’s $49.3 million Energy Advancement and Innovation Center in Columbus that opened in December 2023. Hydrogen’s flexibility as an energy source — it can be used to cut carbon emissions, power vehicles and store or make electricity — makes it highly compelling. Currently, most industrial hydrogen is made by splitting it from natural gas with steam, a process that emits carbon dioxide. A new industry for carbon-free “green” hydrogen, using electrolysis to extract the element from water with electricity, is promising but a more costly option. Geologic hydrogen’s advocates think it will prove to be the cheapest form, given the ability to leverage long-established energy-drilling techniques. “There’s a lot more awareness that this opportunity exists out in the world and we’re seeing more groups following in (Koloma’s) footsteps,” said Andy Lubershane, head of research for Energy Impact Partners, a top investor in Koloma. “We think they’re out front and have some unique advantages.” Proposed rules from the Treasury Department for a new credit that will provide up to $3 per kilogram of clean, zero-carbon hydrogen include the geologic form, in addition to green hydrogen. Koloma’s new funding was reported earlier by Axios. Okay, so more big news for natural hydrogen development. $246 million is a massive capital raise, but could just be a small drop. Ultimately, if geologic hydrogen turns out to be as big a resource as many hope it could be, much like the news coming out of Albania and the massive deposit recently discovered there. Now, there’s still so much more research and technology developments that need to be established and utilized before we get a better understanding of the full potential of geologic hydrogen. But with investments such as this with Koloma, along with the word companies like HyTerra is doing and Kansas and Nebraska, and others across the globe, geologic hydrogen could become the go to technology for hydrogen development. 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 So until next time, keep your eyes up and honor one another. 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.