Hycamite invented a sustainable way to produce green hydrogen
Hydrogen is a hot topic at the moment, as the green transition sweeps over the world. Therefore, the Hycamite startup could not have been founded at a better moment – the company’s innovation is an energy-efficient and sustainable method of manufacturing hydrogen through the splitting of methane. The method itself is old, but it has never been commercialised before.
“The traditional way of manufacturing hydrogen is through electrolysis, which requires almost eight times more energy than our method”, explains CEO Laura Rahikka. Like most of the founders, she has a background in research at the University of Oulu.
Hycamite was founded in the beginning of 2020 and has moved fast ever since. First a laboratory was set up to test the method, and shortly thereafter, a pilot facility was taken into use. The next step is a larger production facility with an annual capacity of 2000 tons of hydrogen.
“Simply put, the facility has a reactor in which heat, methane and a catalyst are inserted. The outcome is hydrogen as well as carbon in solid form. The technology has worked even better than we hoped”, Rahikka says.
The traditional way of manufacturing hydrogen requires eight times more energy
As the carbon is in solid form, no CO2 emissions emerge during the splitting of methane. Although Hycamite is first and foremost a hydrogen producer, carbon is a valuable by-product as it is pure and can be used for various industrial needs.
As Hycamite’s production method is carbon neutral, is it obviously highly interesting for a number of industries, not least the battery industry. Hycamite’s vision is to build several facilities nearby its customers’ production facilities. In this way, the hydrogen and carbon can be tailor-made to fit each customer’s needs and in addition, by-products from other industries can be used as raw material.
“The methane we use as raw material can either be fossil or derived from biogas. In the latter case, it means that our production method becomes even carbon negative.”