Bramble Energy secures £5mn for hydrogen fuel cell plans
Hydrogen fuel cell firm Bramble Energy has secured funding for accelerate development and production.
The company is able to produce hydrogen fuel cells using global existing manufacturing processes. This is something that hasn’t been achieved by any company in the world at this stage.
The company has said that the fuel cells can be manufactured in the majority of printed circuit board (PCB) factories and manufacturing facilities around the world which enables fast-tracked production and scalability.
The £5mn funding was led by BGF followed by a number of existing investors including IP Group, Parkwalk Advisors, and UCL Technology Fund.
BGF’s George Mills said: "Bramble has created a world-first in the production of hydrogen fuel cells, with the potential to transform a global and growing market”
He then went on to say: "Critically, Bramble has inherent scale-up potential with fuel cells that can be made in PCB factories around the world. As the UK advances towards its greener future, the cleantech industry is one of increasing interest to BGF, with our capital and financial firepower designed to help accelerate growth and provide long-term partnerships."
The company was founded just four years ago and was created from a spinout from UCL and Imperial College London. It was founded by Professor Dan Brett, Professor Anthony Kucernak and CEO Dr. Tom Mason.
Thanks to the funding, Bramble Energy will be able to launch its planned portable power product range which varies from 20W units to 60 and 100-watt versions. These have been designed as replacements for diesel generator technologies and have been designed as a zero-emissions alternative.
Tom Mason said: "This is a hugely exciting time for Bramble Energy, with many eyes focused on the UK's leadership role in the transition to a greener economy”.
"We are solving some of the greatest barriers to the adoption of fuel cells - through our ground-breaking manufacturing route, scale-up potential and low-cost production. BGF understands our mission, culture and technical capabilities. We are pleased to have them on board, backing our growth and expansion at a critical juncture for the business."
Hydrogen is set to play a major part in the decarbonisation process of worldwide energy production and usage, and Bramble Energy is set to be a driving force for this.
Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage
Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.
Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:
- The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
- Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
- Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities
Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.
There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.
Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.
Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.
Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.
It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.