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Oregon Company to Bring Methanol-Based Hydrogen Generation to Aerospace Sector, Electric Flight

Posted by IndustrySelect on Monday, November 29, 2021


Bend, Oregon-based Element 1 Corporation announced it has forged a partnership with Washington D.C-based NEXA Capital to bring methanol-based hydrogen generation to the world’s aerospace sector. Element 1, a developer of small-scale to micro-scale clean energy technologies, plans to accelerate the adoption of its methanol-to-hydrogen generators for fuel cell applications in aerospace – particularly electric vertical aircraft--resulting in quiet, carbon-neutral and cost-effective flight.

Compared to conventional fuels, renewable methanol produced from biomass, wind and other processes cuts carbon dioxide emissions by up to 95%, reduces nitrogen oxide emissions by up to 90%, and completely eliminates sulfur oxide and particulate matter emissions.

Element 1 possesses the world’s only scalable methanol-to-hydrogen generator and is the global leader in small-scale to medium-scale solutions for both fuel cell stationary power and fuel cell HD mobility.

Dave Edlund, President and CEO of Element 1, said, “Our hydrogen generators, when paired with fuel cells, will improve the performance of EVAs by generating onboard power for propulsion as well as by recharging onboard batteries. Element 1’s solutions, using a hydrogen dense mixture of methanol and water, will significantly extend the range of EVAs beyond what may be typically achieved using onboard compressed hydrogen.”

Edlund adds that hydrogen today is typically generated and stored as a liquified or compressed gas at large-scale facilities. By contrast, Element 1’s hydrogen generator design reduces the cost profile of delivered hydrogen by producing low-cost hydrogen at on-site.

Captain (ret.) Hank Krakowski, NEXA Principal and Technical Project Lead remarked that “Hydrogen-powered electric systems are about to change aviation the same way the jet engine revolutionized air travel 70 years ago.” Krakowski also noted that Element 1’s methanol-to-hydrogen technologies will make flying more efficient, more sustainable and far more affordable.

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