Monolith – a US-based company producing turquoise hydrogen, has received conditional approval for a $1.04 billion loan from the US Department of Energy’s Title XVII Innovative Energy Loan Guarantee Program. The loan will aim to increase the production of turquoise hydrogen in the company’s Olive Creek plant in Hallam, Nebraska.
The annual output of hydrogen is planned to rise fivefold – from the current 5,000 tons to almost 50,000 tons, which will be used to produce about 275,000 tons of ammonia. Turquoise hydrogen is a type of hydrogen derived from natural gas using a process called methane pyrolysis that results in black carbon and pure hydrogen as by-products and incurs no carbon dioxide emissions.
Instead of CO2, the process produces a powder-like form of pure carbon that could be sequestered or used in the industry for the production of tires, plastics, or inks. The income from selling the carbon black could potentially offset the cost of producing the hydrogen, enabling it to be sold at an affordable price.
“Advanced, clean production technology like Monolith’s are the types of impactful projects that support not just sustainability, but economic growth and clean energy jobs for the American people,” said the US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.
With the award of the 20-year loan, the Olive Creek plant would become the largest carbon black production facility in the US with the production of 194,000 tons per annum. According to Monolith, the expansion of the plant will also prevent 1 million tons per year of greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional manufacturing processes.
“Monolith was founded with the belief that private sector companies could develop the innovation needed to help lead the clean energy transition, while also creating high-paying green jobs and strengthening our nation’s supply chain,” said Rob Hanson, co-founder and chief executive of Monolith.
The turquoise hydrogen expansion project would boost the early development of methane pyrolysis – a new hydrogen production method that could support the clean energy future of the hydrogen economy. The method is innovative and could play a vital role in the energy transition.
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