FREDERICTON, NEW BRUNSWICK, CANADA, August 29, 2023 —Today, Nu:ionic Technologies (Canada), Inc. (“Nu:ionic”) announced it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) commercial agreement with Liberty Utilities (Gas New Brunswick) LP (“Liberty”) for the development of a 2.4 tonnes per day (2,400 kg/day) hydrogen production system utilizing Nu:ionic proprietary Microwave Catalytic Reformers™ (MCRs). Liberty will utilize the facility to pilot the blending of hydrogen into natural gas. This is the first commercial application of Nu:ionic’s on-site, on-demand hydrogen production technology using microwave energy to decarbonize natural gas with electrified reforming. Nu:ionic’s highly efficient microwave reformers eliminate the need for fuel combustion, greatly reducing the amount of feedstock required to produce hydrogen and significantly reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while also allowing for the efficient use of renewable electricity to reduce the carbon footprint of the natural gas grid.
Nu:ionic’s proprietary process technology will be used to generate low carbon hydrogen at low cost, for blending into Liberty’s natural gas distribution system and clean power generation and fuel production for zero-emission fuel cell electric vehicles in the heavy duty and mass transportation sector. The MCR™design includes a carbon capture system to produce readily transportable liquid carbon dioxide (CO2). Nu:ionic will also provide equipment commissioning, maintenance, and remote monitoring support for the components.
The proposed facility is scheduled to be in operation the first half of 2025 and Liberty is currently negotiating with hydrogen and carbon dioxide off-takers. When fully operational, this pilot scale hydrogen blending project is projected to have the GHG capture capacity equivalent to more than 400 hectares (1,000 acres) of forest, and depending on the use of the hydrogen, could potentially result in significantly more GHG emission reductions.
“We are proud to collaborate with Liberty to deliver cleaner energy solutions to the New Brunswick communities they serve while also helping the Company take another step forward in achieving their sustainability goals,” said Jan Boshoff, CEO, Nu:ionic Technologies.
“Providing safe, reliable, cost-effective energy solutions – for current and future generations – is central to our purpose of sustaining energy and water for life,” said Gilles Volpé, Vice President and General Manager, Liberty New Brunswick. “We take pride in caring for our community and our planet and are exploring ways to further reduce our carbon footprint. We are excited to see this pilot’s impact on our community and what we can accomplish through this new project.”
This agreement will enable both companies to collaborate and demonstrate the feasible use of low carbon hydrogen to reduce greenhouse gases within New Brunswick. In parallel with this initiative, the companies are collaborating to obtain funding for project development from federal and provincial organizations.
MCR™ technology provides precise, immediate, and highly efficient targeted heating which eliminates the need for fuel combustion and resulting emissions, and accommodates low-cost hydrogen carriers such as renewable methanol, biogas, or natural gas to produce low-carbon hydrogen. The CO2 by-product is in liquid form for reuse or sequestration. Nu:ionic’s hydrogen production and carbon capture systems are fully modularized for easy deployment and quicker-to-market installation and production.
Conventional steam methane reforming, the most prevalent reforming approach to hydrogen production and responsible for significant CO2 emissions, requires large amounts of natural gas (methane) as feedstock and a fuel source, and cannot be cost-effectively deployed with carbon capture at distributed production capacities. Nu:ionic Technologies’ Microwave Catalytic Reformer process uses approximately 30% less natural gas as compared to conventional reformer methods, reducing the associated upstream emissions of natural gas exploration, production, and transmission, eliminating the need for cost-prohibitive post-combustion carbon capture, and is significantly more compact compared to conventional equipment. And, when comparing the MCR process to electrolysis, results in greater than three times CO2 reduction per unit of renewable electricity used.
Owner/operators benefit from lower capital investment, a simplified, modular, and compact equipment design, increased energy efficiency, and the ability to cost-effectively produce hydrogen with 90% lower emissions.
About Nu:ionic Technologies
Nu:ionic Technologies is a developer of proprietary industrial microwave technology and equipment that enables its customers to realize net-zero goals through electrification. The company’s Microwave Catalytic Reforming™ technology enables the production of low-cost, low-carbon hydrogen for zero emission transportation, biogas upgrading and natural gas decarbonization applications. The Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada location is home to Nu:ionic’s Canadian headquarters, innovation center and testing and demonstration facility. The company also operates in the United States from its Tulsa, Oklahoma office, serving as the U.S. sales, marketing, and integrated product development center. For more information, visit www.nuionic.com.
Part of Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp., Liberty is committed to providing safe and reliable natural gas, water, and electricity distribution services to over one million customer connections. Liberty’s utility operations are primarily located in the United States and Canada and have expanded to Chile and Bermuda. With a customer-centric approach to management, Liberty seeks to provide a superior customer experience through local management of walk-in centers, conservation and energy efficiency initiatives, and programs for businesses and residential customers. We measure our performance in terms of service reliability, customer satisfaction, and public and workplace safety. Liberty’s North American distribution operations include Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Oklahoma and Texas in the United States, and New Brunswick in Canada. For more information, please visit www.libertyenergyandwater.com.
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