© Nu:ionic Technologies / Bang-On Photography
© Nu:ionic Technologies / Bang-On Photography

Nu:ionic completes 48-hour run of microwave reforming hydrogen production tech

Canadian-based start-up Nu:ionic Technologies has completed a continuous 48-hour demonstration run of its Microwave Catalytic Reformer™ (MCR) to produce low-carbon hydrogen from a variety of feedstocks.

Designed for use across different applications, the 100kW electrified reactor can use biogas, natural gas, methanol or renewable ammonia as feedstocks.

The process uses electricity to power the reforming reaction, eliminating the need for fuel combustion, leading to reduced amounts of feedstock required to produce hydrogen, while also cutting emissions.

Said to use around 30% less natural gas compared to conventional reformer methods, which Nu:ionic says will reduce upstream methane emissions, the MCR package is “significantly more compact” compared to steam methane reforming (SMR) equipment.

The company says the technology is well-suited for small-scale low-carbon hydrogen production ranging from 1-10 tonnes per day.

Currently undergoing testing at the company’s Fredericton, New Brunswick Research Innovation Center, Nu:ionic plans to install a “fully integrated” demonstration unit, including hydrogen purification and a carbon capture system at a customer site in Western Canada.

Jim Tranquilla, President and Chief Technology Officer at Nu:ionic, said the technology was a decarbonisation solution that could be implemented now, “not in a few years.”

CEO Jan Boshoff, added, “Renewable electricity is a low-carbon energy feedstock that is available now, making it possible for our customers to meet their decarbonisation goals by producing low-carbon hydrogen at low-cost.”

He stressed the solution was cleaner and “significantly less expensive” than alternatives.

Last year (2023), the company signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Liberty Utilities to develop a 2.4 tonne per day MCR system to pilot the blending of hydrogen into natural gas – with plans to see the facility enter operation in 2025.

Read more: Nu:ionic and Liberty Utilities agree to implement hydrogen into New Brunswick gas network

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