Spark Cleantech (€4 million to develop plasma reactor for on-site hydrogen production)

Spark Cleantech, a French cleantech startup founded in 2022, develops a plasma reactor system that dissociates methane, which is a main component in natural gas, into hydrogen gas and solid carbon, avoiding carbon dioxide emissions. The system can be used to make hydrogen on-site to help lower carbon emissions in many industries.

Challenges: hydrogen fuel

Hydrogen (H₂) is a clean energy carrier that can be used in various applications, including transportation, power generation, and as a raw material in certain industrial processes. It is particularly attractive as a fuel because its combustion only produces water vapor, making it a zero-emission energy source when used in fuel cells or internal combustion engines.

The majority of the world's hydrogen (over 60 million tons) is currently produced via steam methane reforming (SMR) process. It involves reacting natural gas with steam at high temperatures to produce hydrogen, carbon monoxide (CO), and a small amount of carbon dioxide (CO₂). This process requires a significant amount of energy input and emits a substantial amount of CO₂. The SMR process emits between 5 and 9 tons of CO₂ per ton of hydrogen produced.

Green hydrogen can be produced through various technologies, such as water electrolysis, natural gas pyrolysis, biomass gasification, and solar thermochemical processes.

Spark Cleantech Technology

Spark Cleantech develops a pulsed plasma reactor system that dissociates methane into hydrogen gas and solid carbon particles. The reactor system can process a continuous methane gas flow to produce 10 tons of hydrogen per day. The system also has low maintenance costs.

Spark Cleantech pyrolysis reactor

The diagram below depicts Spark Cleantech’s plasma reactor, which dissociates methane (CH₄) into hydrogen gas (H₂) and solid carbon (C) via pulsed plasma.

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