Founded in 2019, UK-based HiiROC produces cost-competitive and zero-emission hydrogen through its proprietary process of thermal plasma electrolysis.
While hydrogen is becoming an increasingly promising alternative energy source and feedstock for a broad and diverse set of industrial processes, existing solutions are traditionally either high-emission or high-cost.
HiiROC's technology produces high-grade hydrogen with a fraction of the energy consumed by water electrolysis, avoiding intensive Carbon Capture, Utilisation, and Storage (CCUS) methods required for traditional steam methane reforming.
HiiROC's production units are modular and scalable, use no water, and carbon black, a co-product of the hydrogen production process, becomes an additional opportunity to decarbonise heavy industries further.
The technology is active in various hydrogen pilots and projects, including industrial decarbonisation, energy management, and transport.
HiiROC has raised over £30 million from investors, including Melrose, Wintershall Dea, Centrica, HydrogenOne, Hyundai, CEMEX and Kia.
Cemex is a global construction materials company building a better future through sustainable products and solutions.
Through its corporate venture capital arm, Cemex initially invested in the breakthrough startup in 2022 and is planning large-scale deployment of HiiROC's thermal plasma technology to reduce its consumption of fossil fuels and help decarbonise its operations.
With this strategic partnership, Cemex intends to initially increase its hydrogen injection capacity at its crucial cement plant at Rugby, United Kingdom and expects to eventually deploy HiiROC's technology gradually across its EMEA operations.
By investing in sustainable solutions and partnering with revolutionary startups, it aims to become a net-zero CO2 company by 2050 as set out by its Future in Action program.
According to Gonzalo Galindo, Head of Cemex Ventures:
"This news comes at a critical moment when COP28 has brought the world together to address and refocus the climate agenda and buckle down on the responsibility of governments and private corporations to deliver on their decarbonisation objectives ahead of 2030.
With our increased investment in HiiROC, we are especially proud to be #1 in the use of hydrogen in the cement sector. We are committed to keep scouting new ways to deploy hydrogen at a grand scale at Cemex's 60 cement and grinding plants."
Lead image: HiiROC. Photo: uncredited.