Funding will help build and test first pilot facility at ARC Resources' Gold Creek gas plant. [Image: ARC Resources]

By Dale Lunan

The Canadian government said July 9 it would invest C$1mn into Vancouver-based Ekona Power to advance its methane pyrolysis solution for producing clean hydrogen and solid carbon from natural gas.

The funding comes from the Energy Innovation Program’s Clean Fuels and Industrial Fuel Switching initiative and builds on the success of previous federal funding to develop and test Ekona’s xCaliber™ reactor.

“Canada is taking important steps to keep being a clean energy supplier of choice as we drive progress toward a net-zero world,” Canadian energy minister Jonathan Wilkinson said. “Investing in innovations such as Ekona’s provides opportunities to advance Canada’s hydrogen value chain, create jobs and seize the economic opportunity of growing global demand for hydrogen.”

The xCaliber™ pyrolysis reactor uses the principles of combustion and high-speed gas dynamics to separate feedstock methane into hydrogen and carbon. It is low-cost, scalable and easy to integrate and leverages existing natural gas infrastructure to produce clean hydrogen.

Ekona’s solution has the potential to produce low-cost, clean hydrogen while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90%. More broadly, it could enable cost-effective, ultra-low-carbon hydrogen gas production from natural gas without the need to capture and sequester carbon dioxide. 

Ekona Power will deploy its first field unit, a 1 tonne/day customer demonstration plant, next year to ARC Resources’ Gold Creek natural gas plant in Alberta where it will be used to demonstrate how methane pyrolysis can decarbonise upstream oil and gas operations. The plant will be commissioned and tested in 2025 before full operations begin in 2026.

“Ekona’s methane pyrolysis platform unlocks natural gas’s potential for clean hydrogen production without the need for carbon dioxide sequestration,” Ekona CEO Chris Reid said. “This made-in-Canada technology offers a viable and near-term solution for using hydrocarbons in cleaner, better ways.” 

Download Report