Green Hydrogen from sea water & renewable energy for the maritime and renewable energy industries



  • We are a startup that based on IPs from Columbia University, New York is working on technology to produce green hydrogen from sea water and renewable energy. We received a NYSERDA grant and were included in the world's premier maritime and port accelerator program www.portxl.org .
    We are aiming to pilot in the Port of Rotterdam in 2020. We are currently looking into the possibility of crowdfunding some of our work leading up to the pilot. Would love to get feedback if this may be of interest to the community.



  • @cjbenedikt Awesome project. I don't have much feedback other than to say that I'll be eagerly following your progress on here if you'd like to keep us updated!



  • @cjbenedikt are you able to share anything about the hydrogen generation process? How efficient is it?



  • @capilano Our tech is as efficient as existing PEM or Alkaline electrolyzers. However, since our electrolyzer is membraneless it is more robust and cheaper to build. Currently we can 3D print it but we have to see if that will be possible to scale.



  • Hey @cjbenedikt, this sounds very cool. Do you have a link with more info about your project? I just see the portxl link.

    I would love to learn more and offer feedback. I'm also curious about details like efficiency.



  • @Eric-Chaves Sorry, I don't have a link and we don't have a website up yet. Wasn't a priority so far - but we are working on it... In terms of efficiency: we produce H2 below any existing price level. The reason for this is that we use sea water. Therefore we also harvest some minerals during the same process which are common commodities with liquid markets to sell them to. Actually, we can also use brine as well as so called ballast water of vessels (which is sea water inside ships used for trim and stabilization. Ballast water treatment - which we can offer - offers another revenue stream for us.



  • @cjbenedikt thanks for sharing your project with the community. It looks quite promising. What's leading you towards the desire to crowdfund some of the work? What are you hoping to obtain from it that you couldn't from conventional funding avenues?



  • We have of course several options. Currently we are looking into grants as a way forward. While we have seen interest from some VCs we would like to be able to develop our business without the pressure of having to exit within a certain number of years. There is also a lot of interest from strategic partners in the maritime industry. But teaming up with one at this point might close the doors on others as potential clients. We also don't want to put a "price tag" i.e. valuation on our business at this point. We'd like to think we are in the business of building a company rather than selling one. We think that crowdfunding might attract investors with a similar mindset. We believe our technology has a lot of potential going forward as we've seen interest not only from Rotterdam and Antwerp in Europe but also from the Gulf region as well as Australia.
    Hence, if we decide to go for crowd funding we would be looking for a pre-money SAFE which allows investors the benefit of participating without a valuation at this point. Just our thoughts at the moment.



  • @cjbenedikt

    While we have seen interest from some VCs we would like to be able to develop our business without the pressure of having to exit within a certain number of years.

    Good idea. With VC money, you're basically making a bet with yourself to either go big or bust. Growing at your own pace without external pressure or heavy investor influence is more sustainable financially.

    Equity crowdfunding seems like a good fit for environmentally focused businesses. You can grow an audience of supporters who will advocate for you and then include them in the upside. A community like this could be a good place to launch something like that.

    Hence, if we decide to go for crowd funding we would be looking for a pre-money SAFE which allows investors the benefit of participating without a valuation at this point. Just our thoughts at the moment.

    From what I understand, a SAFE is an alternative to a convertible debt/equity note. Can you explain why you're looking at this style of security?



  • For us the advantage over a note is that there is no interest payment attached to it. For the investor it has the advantage that no valuation at this point is necessary. Any particular platform to recommend for such a campaign?



  • @cjbenedikt

    Any particular platform to recommend for such a campaign?

    I've been looking into and working on building crowdfunding capabilities into this site. I think it would be awesome to get feedback for your green hydrogen project, build an audience of supporters around it, and raise funding all in one place. What do you think?

    Green enterprise is different because funders would be highly invested in the environmental returns in addition to financial returns. This would likely keep your audience more closely tuned into your developments and make them more likely to promote on your behalf. Curious to hear your thoughts



  • Absolutely right. Love the idea. And apart from the environmental returns our approach has significant financial upside, too. Doing well by doing good is still an attractive way forward. If you can provide an alternative to existing products that are polluting and it makes financial sense for users of those products to switch to a better solution - that makes the transition ever so much easier.



  • @cjbenedikt Appreciate your support. What factors would be most important for a crowdfunding platform to be viable for your needs? I'd like to provide a solution that works for people like yourselves



  • I guess a big enough community that allows an offering to succeed. If the community is too small it may take too long to reach a given goal or it may not happen at all...



  • "Actually, we can also use brine as well as so called ballast water of vessels (which is sea water inside ships used for trim and stabilization. Ballast water treatment - which we can offer - offers another revenue stream for us."

    While I'm not knowledgeable about your technology, my career has been in the maritime industry - both at sea and ashore- and I've purchased and installed ballast water treatment systems. If you have any questions on anything related to ships or marketability of BWT systems I'd be happy to offer advice on that aspect.



  • @cjbenedikt fair enough, this community is growing quickly and we'd love to follow your journey for now

    @feangel what are the main reasons for needing to conduct BWT? Is it mandated by maritime law?



  • @cjbenedikt what is the name of your group? Why are you uniquely positioned to be able to take advantage of this opportunity? thanks for sharing



  • @feangel Since September 2017 BWT is obligatory by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) globally and the US Coast Guard in the US. The reason behind it is the invasive species risk which turned into a $1.3 trillion p.a. problem globally. Vessels have to comply or risk hefty fines. Most vessels are installing on board systems at costs of between $500k and $2M depending on vessel size. However, for some vessels it would make more sense to have BWT in ports as they only shuttle between one port and offshore oil & gas platforms or windfarms for maintenance. Those vessels are called FPSOs https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floating_production_storage_and_offloading
    Also some older vessels, who have only approx. 5 years left want to avoid having to install these expensive on board systems. Those companies are very interested in what we have to offer.



  • @ecojoy We are uniquely positioned because we are the only one (so far) that can use sea-/balllast water or brine to produce hydrogen (H2). Because of that and our co-products we can produce H2 at prices well below any other fuel. So far H2 was considered too expensive for the shipping industry compared to say LNG or heavy marine oil. Existing technology is struggling to produce H2 at or below $3/kg. In order to be competitive it would need to be at or below $2/kg. We can profitably produce it at $1/kg.



  • @cjbenedikt hey just learning about green hydrogen but it sounds promising.

    Are you the only ones who can use sea/ballast water or brine to produce H2 because you have some novel or innovative method? If so, wouldn't most H2 producers leverage that same tech when it becomes more common knowledge? Genuinely curious and wish you the best of luck!


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