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HydGene Renewables: Transforming agriculture biomass residues into green hydrogen - Series A - investment opportunity

Kerstin Petroll, CTO of HydGene Renewables

Opportunity for

  • Agtech, climate and deep tech investors^, venture capital in Australia, US, UK, EU, Asia
  • Commercial partners including agribusiness, farmer co-operative models, regional agricultural hubs, chemical and fertiliser manufacturers, oil refiners making ethanol, airlines investing in sustainable aviation fuel.
    ^This opportunity is only for professional and sophisticated investors.

Opportunity description

Industry challenge

HydGene addresses the urgent need for sustainable hydrogen production and effective biomass management across various sectors, including the agrifood sector, to help achieve global net-zero emissions by 2050. Currently, over 99% of hydrogen is derived from fossil fuels, significantly contributing to global emissions. Our HydGene biocatalyst technology converts biomass residues into green hydrogen, offering a renewable alternative to centralised, carbon-intensive hydrogen production methods. This process also provides a revenue stream from agricultural waste residues, which otherwise contribute to emissions through stubble burning practices and landfill disposal. Further, our solution offers on-site, on-demand hydrogen production, reducing transportation and storage challenges, and making it adaptable to various operational needs, thus overcoming barriers to the current hydrogen economy.

This transition to green chemicals is crucial for decarbonising major industries, including chemical manufacturing (ammonia, renewable methanol, diesel, and sustainable aviation fuels), heavy-duty transportation, and off-grid intermittent electricity generation. Supplying hydrogen to these sectors cumulatively represents a $200 billion market opportunity. Our technology adds value and promotes a circular economy by converting biomass residues into clean chemicals and energy on-site. By transforming waste into valuable resources, HydGene contributes to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future.

Current opportunity

Having closed our Seed raise last June, we have expanded our team to 18 members, improved R&D capabilities, scaled up manufacturing operations, and reduced the unit economics of hydrogen to be cost-competitive in the market. We are currently building our in-house pilot capable of producing 1kg H2/day, which is sufficient for making 3kg of ammonia or powering a whole house for a day. We have partnerships for demonstrating our technology in the field at pilot scale in 2025 and plan to deploy our demo commercial plants by 2027. We have a potential commercial pipeline of more than 39,000 tonnes per annum of hydrogen production by 2028.

We are now seeking contractual commercial partnerships with businesses looking to secure green, low-cost hydrogen supply for their operations. We seek agri-businesses, co-op models, and regional agricultural hubs aiming to diversify and de-risk their revenue streams by aggregating and supplying their biomass residues to these industries. We are looking for Series A investors to join us on our mission, supporting our R&D and commercial operations to advance our hydrogen production technology.

Opportunity background

HydGene Renewables leverages Synthetic Biology to create a sustainable, circular economy from biomass waste. Converting diverse feedstocks, including agricultural, forestry, and municipal waste into 100% renewable, carbon-negative hydrogen on-site, this innovation minimizes the need for transportation and storage of hydrogen. H2 is produced at industrial rates and yields using a novel biocatalyst developed by HydGene founders at Macquarie University in 2017. The IP is protected by a provisional patent which is licensed exclusively to HydGene. Patents covering new IP related to the stabilisation of the biocatalyst, modularisation, and field use have also been filed.

Additional features and benefits of HydGene’s technology include:

  • The biocatalyst is deployed in modular cartridges, easily scaled to meet industrial demand.
  • Achieves the highest biological yield in a scalable bacterial system.
  • Fastest biological H2 production rate reported to date matching industrial rates.
  • On-Demand Production: Continuous, controlled hydrogen production over years from a single batch, reducing costs.
  • Uses various low-cost biomass feedstocks, adapting to changing compositions in real-time.
  • Cost-Competitive: Delivers hydrogen at $2-6/kg H2, inclusive of CAPEX and OPEX.

HydGene Renewables is a female-led deep-tech team with over 50 years of combined expertise in Synthetic Biology, analytics, project & financial management, industry engagement, and entrepreneurial activities. The founding team has managed large industry collaborations and projects during their previous academic roles at Macquarie University. Notable achievements include securing a $6M seed raise, a $2.8M grant from ARENA, and a $1.1M BRII grant in 2021. Recognised as a Tech23 game-changing company and a recipient of the 2022 Climate Salad Climate Tech Newcomer Award, HydGene was also selected in the 2022 AgriFutures EvokeAg startup network and named one of 2023's top 100 HolonIQ ANZ climate tech companies.

Despite being pre-revenue, the team has significantly improved the hydrogen biocatalyst performance, enhanced yield, rate and feedstock versatility. The biocatalyst shows compatibility with over 130 different types of biomass feedstocks tested through collaborations with around 20 industry partners. These advancements position the technology competitively against fossil fuel-derived hydrogen.

Potential other applications

The technology extends beyond hydrogen production and can be used to create other green chemicals like ammonia, bioethanol and bioplastics. The company targets sectors with abundant biomass and limited access to affordable renewable energy and fuels, focusing on chemical manufacturing, energy, and transport.

^Professional and sophisticated investors as defined in the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). The content of this opportunity is intended for use by persons having professional experience in matters relating to investments and must not be acted or relied upon by any other person including, without limitation, retail clients.

Opportunity type

Seeking interest, Seeking investment, Seeking partners

Express interest by

Tuesday, 31 December 2024 23:00 Australia/Sydney
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Mid (TRL 5-7)
Proof of concept in the laboratory then in the field resulting in the development of a minimum viable product (MVP).
What does this mean?
Describes the stage of the challenge or opportunity being pursued.

Opportunity led by

Multiple industries
Cereal grains Cross industry Forestry Fruits Nuts Other rural industries Pasture, fodder & feed Sugar Wine

HydGene Renewables

HydGene Renewables: On-demand renewable hydrogen from bio-waste. As synthetic biologists and engineers, at HydGene Renewables, we are revolutionising the way …
  • Location

    Sydney (based), operate Australia wide

  • Organisation type

    Startup or Scaleup or SME

Focus areas

Technology areas

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