Leicestershire- based Unitrove Innovation, the manufacturer of what is said to be the world’s first liquid hydrogen bunkering facility for ships, on Wednesday (April 13) said it had received the funds from the Department for Transport, in partnership with Connected Places Catapult.

It is hoped the funding will help both the adoption of hydrogen and cut transportation emissions, as the shipping industry alone accounts for around one billion tonnes of global carbon dioxide emissions.

Steven Lua, CEO of Unitrove Innovation, said, “The award will help us to further develop our liquid hydrogen bunkering facility as we move towards commercialisation. This is fantastic validation for our project, and it also opens up opportunities for increased collaboration as we work towards reducing emissions, which are causing so much damage to our planet.

“We need collaboration across the entire energy industry as there is no one-size-fits-all solution. We need to embrace multiple renewable and clean energy solutions to achieve our net-zero ambitions and we need real investment in infrastructure to develop affordable, reliable, sustainable energy in the future.”

Unitrove Innovation first unveiled its liquid hydrogen innovation at COP26 last November. Up until that point, Lua said liquid hydrogen as a commercial fuel was relatively unexplored as an option, despite its great potential.

“Liquid hydrogen has long been used to safely and successfully send rockets into space. The technology is mature, but the markets for its use are not,” he explained. “We already see very early signs of light-duty vessels being battery-driven or powered by compressed gaseous hydrogen, but liquid hydrogen will allow us to serve the heavier portion of the shipping fleet where we hope to have a much larger impact.

“We are also exploring options including ammonia, liquid organic hydrogen carriers, and solid hydrogen in the form of sodium borohydride. However, we understand that priority is currently being given to the development of international standards and regulations for pure hydrogen, and this could play a significant factor in the long run.

“We believe that hydrogen will be recognised as a global commodity that will be traded in the same way that natural gas is today. The bunker fuel market is worth an estimated $120bn, so there is a huge opportunity not only in environmental and social terms, but also financially.”

North American Hydrogen Summit  

H2 View is taking its events platform to America’s original clean hydrogen hub of California. Together with the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP), we will stage our North American Hydrogen Summit in San Francisco on July 14-15.

As our summit theme Building Bridges: Hydrogen hubs and investment suggests, the event will explore the $8bn of funding announced to create at least four regional hydrogen hubs in the US. These hubs will turbo-charge the nation’s progress toward heavy trucking and industrial sectors that run without producing carbon pollution – and they may just provide the path forward to a hydrogen-fuelled future.

With California and Texas vying to be America’s hydrogen capital today, where are the hubs of tomorrow? Further still, what can other states, and countries, learn from California’s success story? And how can we build bridges to a successful flow of international investment?

If you are a member of the CaFCP, be sure to grab your ticket at a discounted rate with a code that can be provided to you by the events team.

Full information about this event including attendance and sponsorship packages can be found here.