California-based electrolyser start-up Verdagy has secured $73m in a Series B funding round co-led by Shell New Ventures and Singaporean state-owned Temasek Holdings, with the venture capital arms of Samsung and fertiliser giant Yara among its new investors.
Verdagy plans to use this funding to commercially launch its 20MW eDynamic electrolyser, which uses three-square-metre anion-exchange membrane (AEM) cells that are capable of operating at a higher current density than other technologies.
The firm claims that this translates directly to more hydrogen production per cell, while still being extremely low cost.
“By leveraging our patented large electrochemical cells, using membranes and enabling high current density operations and a wide dynamic range, Verdagy has dramatically lowered the capex of an electrolyser,” said CEO Marty Neese.
“We have shown that our core technology works and Verdagy is ready to scale globally.”
AEM is a fairly new technology pioneered by German/Italian/Thai manufacturer Enapter, which makes small microwave-oven-sized AEM electrolysers, of which 420 are needed to produce a 1MW unit.
AEM stacks pass negatively-charged ions through a semipermeable membrane to make electrolysis more efficient, in a similar process to PEM, but without the need for platinum group metal catalysts.
Verdagy has not disclosed the price at which it plans to sell its technology. But the firm tells Hydrogen Insight that while the cells are extremely large, weighing around 200kg, they are assembled and installed into the electrolyser stacks on-site in an effort to reduce transport costs.
“Verdagy’s eDynamic electrolyzers utilize fewer cells, and the size of the electrolyzer stack is smaller than competing technologies. As such, space requirements are relatively modest,” the company adds.
The electrolyser firm will target deployment of its technology to customers in heavy industries, such as oil & gas, ammonia, steel and e-fuels.
The company is currently testing a 500kW version of the electrolyser at its pilot plant in Moss Landing, California, using three 2.8-square-metre cells that it described at the time as the world’s largest.
It is also installing a 2MW electrolyser at the pilot plant for testing.
The Series B round also saw investment from Bidra Innovation Ventures, BlueScope, Galp, Toppan Ventures, Tupras Ventures, and Zeon Ventures.