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Hydrogen on Demand, Anywhere!

"Dark hydrogen" represents a new paradigm in catalytic water gasification and

an economically viable pathway to methane carbonization.

DMM has discovered an unprecedented family of earth-abundant metal catalysts capable of producing hydrogen from any type of water or methane under exceptionally mild conditions.

The catalysts comprise a new class of earth-abundant non-strategic metal nanocatalysts designed from first principles to activate O–H and strong C–H bonds by the lowest possible energy mechanisms. The novel catalysts contain no precious or strategic metals. Both processes proceed under exceptionally mild conditions, require no organic solvents, and produce no greenhouse gases.  The technology is scalable, energy efficient, and requires a very low CAPEX.

Thermal Catalytic Nanomaterials

  • DMM introduces a new “color” to hydrogen production’s environmental footprint.

  • No light, no electricity, some heat, just add the catalyst to water.

  • The process is water agnostic and can be tap, grey, salty or produced.

  • Production rate ~115 mL/min/g, steady state.

  • Earth abundant, accessible catalyst.

  • Catalyst can be easily regenerated.

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Enabling Nanoscience: 
Advantages of Nanocatalysts

  • Increased surface area:  Greater number of active sites and higher catalytic activity.

  • Catalytic water gasification: Increased productivity for hydrogen evolution. 

  • Alkane reforming catalysis: Higher turnover, improved selectivity, and reduced coking.

The Real Hydrogen Economy

  • Molecular H₂ is not naturally occurring, but must be synthesized.

  • Large-scale H₂ production is currently limited to energy-intensive thermal cracking of  natural gas with carbon capture, utilization and storage - CCUS (blue), methane pyrolysis (turquoise), and coal (grey).

  • The electrolysis of water (green) is an electrochemical process that consumes electricity to split water into H₂ and O₂. In 2020, this process accounted for ~0.03% of global production.

  • In the marketplace, H₂ production competes with its own energy source, i.e., with "green" electricity from the grid. H₂ is a carrier of energy, not a source.

  • Hydrogen is the right fuel, but the wrong energy carrier.  Water does that for free.

Water Gasification to Hydrogen

The world needs new approaches to hydrogen production/water gasification that are far less energy and carbon intensive. Canada’s energy demands also present unique geographical challenges – northern latitudes and remote regions, including those not serviced by existing electrical and natural gas grids. It will take decades for any hydrogen infrastructure build-out to reach Canada’s rural, remote, and far northern populations. Off-grid hydrogen power and potable water is as much a matter of social and geographic justice as it is economics.

The catalysis are composed of earth-abundant, non-strategic metal elements, and are water agnostic, tolerating greywater, seawater, agricultural wastewater, and bitumen tailings water. For on-grid applications, related heteropolymetallic nanocomposite materials function as effective electrocatalysts for water gasification at any scale, significantly outperforming other earth-abundant metal catalysts, which are not active enough to be used industrially. 


Hydrogen Powered Fuel Cell

On demand, off-grid, chemocatalytic water-to-water hydrogen fuel cell engine.

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  • Low energy consumption – ambient temperature and pressure

  • Readily scaled, inherently continuous

  • Hydrogen on demand, anywhere

  • Works with any type of water

  • Production cost estimate  ~$6.50/kg of H₂

  • No hydrogen storage, no transportation, no distribution grid, no membrane deoxygenation, required.

  • The catalyst can be recycled, reused and repurposed.

Methane Carbonization to Hydrogen

Methane pyrolysis has recently emerged as a promising technology, producing H2 and amorphous carbon, instead of CO and CO2, from purified natural gas during steam methane reforming. However, the process still suffers from incomplete conversion and unmitigated release of fugitive methane, a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. Further, the process is energy intensive; more energy is required to generate the hydrogen than produced when used as a fuel source (e.g., fuel cells, combustion). Our family of metal-oxide catalysts activate methane at  temperatures of ~400 °C, far lower than existing technologies, paving the way for economically viable methane carbonization.

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