Start-up HydGene Renewable has raised A$6m (U$4.07m) in Seed funding to enable the company to build up its biocatalyst technology for pilot testing to produce hydrogen from biomass waste.
The Australia-based business utilizes synthetic biology to engineer microorganisms to act as a proprietary biocatalyst for the production of green hydrogen from waste biomass via fermentation.
The funding round – led by Argonomics which made an investment of A$2.5m (U$1.69m) – involved the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) investing A$2m (U$1.36m) in addition to Understorey Ventures and NOAB Ventures.
It is anticipated that HydGene Renewable will use the recently raised funding to scale the manufacturing of the company’s biocatalyst technology for pilot testing. Remaining funds will be utilized to grow the team and to carry out more research and development to reduce product cost.
“Efficiently and effectively harnessing hydrogen as a renewable source of energy is vital if we are to meet our Net Zero ambitions and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels,” said Jim Mellon, executive director, Argonomics. “By upcycling waste biomasses into renewable gases, such as hydrogen and ammonia, HydGene’s biocatalyst technology provides an entirely renewable carbon-negative solution which will support this global transition.”
“We want to provide affordable and sustainable alternatives in the production of green molecules, firstly hydrogen, derived from waste biomass,” said Louise Brown, co-founder, and CEO, HydGene. “Our biocatalyst technology, which lies at the heart of our vision, is the driving force behind our mission to shape a decentralized manufacturing future.”
“The potential demand for green hydrogen is huge, and not every place has abundant renewable energy resources, or the land needed for electrolysis,” explained Blair Pritchard, partner at Virescent Ventures – the company which managed CEFC’s investment. “We need to make green hydrogen in more geographies, with a wider range of inputs than just sun and wind. Organic waste streams, which HydGene uses, are a perfect example.”