The Anonymous Widower

Plans Submitted For Hydrogen Pilot Plant At Humber Power Station

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Business Live.

This is the sub-heading.

HiiRoc and Centrica partnership at Brigg moves forward as consent sought.

These two paragraphs complete the original article.

Plans for a hydrogen pilot plant to sit alongside Centrica’s Brigg Power Station have been submitted to North Lincolnshire Council.

The low carbon fuel is set to be blended with gas at the peaking plant, in a tie-up between the energy giant and green-tech start up HiiRoc, in which it has invested. The well-backed Hull-based firm is pioneering a new production method, and was named as KPMG’s Global Tech Innovator for 2022.

I have very high hopes for HiiROC, who in addition to Centrica, have Hyundai and Kia as investors.

Endorsement from KPMG is surely positive.

May 20, 2023 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Meet HiiROC, The Startup Making Low-Cost Hydrogen Free From Emissions

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on UKTN.

This article explains the technology behind, what I feel is one of the most promising start-ups, I’ve seen.

It is certainly a must read.

This paragraph explains how they plan to lease the machines.

It plans to bring in revenue by leasing its machines to companies charging on the output of hydrogen and carbon.

That is almost how we sold the Artemis project management software, I wrote over forty years ago.

  • Our bank manager liked it, as we were leasing to companies like BP, Chevron and Shell.
  • His bosses liked it, as leasing companies don’t normally have that dodgy word; innovation.
  • Our in-house accountant liked it, as we had an easy to predict cash flow.
  • Our customers liked it, as all they had to provide was a 13-amp socket and paper for the printer.

It was a model that served us well.


The more I learn of HiiROC, the more I like the company.

April 15, 2023 Posted by | Finance, Hydrogen | , | Leave a comment

Centrica Business Solutions Begins Work On 20MW Hydrogen-Ready Peaker In Redditch

The title of this post, is the same as that as this news item from Centrica Business Systems.

This is the sub-heading.

Centrica Business Solutions has started work on a 20MW hydrogen-ready gas-fired peaking plant in Worcestershire, as it continues to expand its portfolio of energy assets.

These three paragraphs outline the project.

Centrica has purchased a previously decommissioned power plant in Redditch, and is set to install eight UK assembled containerised engines to burn natural gas.

Expected to be fully operational later this year, the peaking power plant will run only when there is high or peak demand for electricity, or when generation from renewables is low. The Redditch project will have the capacity to power the equivalent of 2,000 homes for a full day when required, helping to maintain stability and reliability on the grid.

The engines will also be capable of burning a blend of natural gas and hydrogen, futureproofing the site and helping the UK transition towards a decarbonised energy system.

  • The original power station had Rolls-Royce generators.
  • Cummins and Rolls-Royce mtu and possibly other companies can probably supply the dual fuel generators.
  • Cummins have received UK Government funding to develop hydrogen-powered internal combustion engines.
  • This press release from Cummins, which is entitled Dawn Of A New Chapter From Darlington, gives more details on Cummins’ plans for the Darlington factory and hydrogen.

Given that Cummins manufactured sixty-six thousand engines in Darlington in 2021 and it is stated that these containerised engines will be assembled in the UK, I feel, that these engines may be from Cummins.

Centrica’s Plans

This paragraph in the Centrica Business Systems news item, outlines their plans.

The Redditch peaking plant is part of Centrica’s plans to deliver around 1GW of flexible energy assets, that includes the redevelopment of several legacy-owned power stations, including the transformation of the former Brigg Power Station in Lincolnshire into a battery storage asset and the first plant in the UK to be part fuelled by hydrogen.

As Redditch power station is only 20 MW, Centrica could be thinking of around fifty assets of a similar size.

Brigg Power Station

The Wikipedia entry for Brigg Power station gives these details of the station.

  • The station was built in 1993.
  • It is a combined cycle gas turbine power station.
  • The primary fuel is natural gas, but it can also run on diesel.
  • It has a nameplate capacity of 240 MW.

Brigg power station is also to be used as a test site for hydrogen firing.

This news item from Centrica is entitled Centrica And HiiROC To Inject Hydrogen At Brigg Gas-Fired Power Station In UK First Project.

These paragraphs from the news item explains the process.

The 49MW gas fired plant at Brigg is designed to meet demand during peak times or when generation from renewables is low, typically operating for less than three hours a day. Mixing hydrogen in with natural gas reduces the overall carbon intensity.

It’s anticipated that during the trial, getting underway in Q3 2023, no more than three per cent of the gas mix could be hydrogen, increasing to 20% incrementally after the project. Longer term, the vision is to move towards 100% hydrogen and to deploy similar technology across all gas-fired peaking plant.

HiiROC’s proprietary technology converts biomethane, flare gas or natural gas into clean hydrogen and carbon black, through an innovative Thermal Plasma Electrolysis process. This results in a low carbon, or potentially negative carbon, ‘emerald hydrogen’.

Because the byproduct comes in the form of a valuable, solid, pure carbon it can be easily captured and used in applications ranging from tyres, rubbers and toners, and in new use cases like building materials and even as a soil enhancer.

It looks to me, that HiiROC are using an updated version of a process called pyrolysis, which is fully and well-described in this Wikipedia entry. This is the first paragraph.

The pyrolysis (or devolatilization) process is the thermal decomposition of materials at elevated temperatures, often in an inert atmosphere. It involves a change of chemical composition. The word is coined from the Greek-derived elements pyro “fire”, “heat”, “fever” and lysis “separating”.

Pyrolysis is more common than you think and is even used in cooking to do things like caramelise onions. This is a video of a chef giving a demonstration of caramelising onions.

On an industrial scale, pyrolysis is used to make coke and charcoal.

I came across pyrolysis in my first job after graduating, when I worked at ICI Runcorn.

ICI were trying to make acetylene in a process plant they had bought from BASF. Ethylene was burned in an atmosphere, that didn’t have much oxygen and then quenched in naphtha. This should have produced acetylene , but all it produced was tonnes of black soot, that it spread all over Runcorn.

I shared an office with a guy, who was using a purpose-built instrument to measure acetylene in the off-gas from the burners.

When he discovered that the gas could be in explosive limits, ICI shut the plant down. The Germans didn’t believe this and said, that anyway it was impossible to do the measurement.

ICI gave up on the process and demolished their plant, but sadly the German plant blew up and killed several workers.

It does look like HiiROC have tamed the process to be able to put hydrocarbons in one end and get hydrogen and carbon black out the other.

I wonder how many old and possibly dangerous chemical processes can be reimagined using modern technology.

It certainly appears that Centrica are not holding back on innovation.


I’ve never run a large electricity network. Not even a simulated one.

But I’m fairly sure that having a large number of assets of different sizes, that can be optimised to the load and the fuel available, creates a more reliable and efficient network.

Heavy energy users may even have their own small efficient power station, that is powered by gases piped from the local landfill.



April 6, 2023 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hydrogen Engines To Be Mass Produced By Hyundai By 2025

The title of this post, is the same as that, of this article on Hydrogen Fuel News.

This is the sub-heading.

Hyundai Doosan Infracore is accelerating engine development

These are the first two paragraphs.

After the completion of its H2 internal combustion engines (ICE) design and rolling out the prototype, Hyundai Doosan Infracore (HDI) is revving up the development of its hydrogen engines, with the aim to mass produce these engines by 2025.

The hydrogen-powered internal combustion engine can produce a power output of 300 kW (402 HP) and a torque of 1700 NM at 2000 RPM. Fulfilling Tier 5/Stage 5/Euro7 regulation, the engine satisfies the emission requirements to be 90% decreased to the current level to meet Zero CO2 (below 1g/kwh) and Zero Impact Emission.


  1. The engine is described as an 11 litre class engine.
  2. The new hydrogen engines that will be produced will be installed on commercial vehicles, including large buses, trucks and construction equipment.

It should also be noted that Hyundai are investors in Hull-based hydrogen production company; HiiROC, as I wrote about in Centrica Partners With Hull-Based HiiRoc For Hydrogen Fuel Switch Trial At Humber Power Plant.

Hyundai now have the hydrogen internal combustion engine to go with HiiROC, who are developing the means to produce hydrogen at a filling station or depot.

A Problem With The Hydrogen Fuel News Article

This article on Diesel Progress, which is entitled Hyundai Doosan Infracore To Launch Hydrogen Engine covers the same story.

But it shows a different picture of the hydrogen internal combustion engine, which as it looks like one, I assume it is the correct image.

March 7, 2023 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Good Vibrations Turbo Charge Green Hydrogen Production

The title of this post, is the same as this news item from RMIT University in Australia.

This is the sub-heading.

Engineers in Melbourne have used sound waves to boost production of green hydrogen by 14 times, through electrolysis to split water.

And these are the first two paragraphs.

They say their invention offers a promising way to tap into a plentiful supply of cheap hydrogen fuel for transportation and other sectors, which could radically reduce carbon emissions and help fight climate change.

By using high-frequency vibrations to “divide and conquer” individual water molecules during electrolysis, the team managed to split the water molecules to release 14 times more hydrogen compared with standard electrolysis techniques

I could understand a two or three times increase, but fourteen times is sensational.

Again, Australia seems to have found the gold through innovative green technology.

Other Benefits

Read the last sections of the news item.

  • The process allows the use of cheaper silver electrodes instead of platinum and iridium.
  • The engineers also feel that their technique could help in this and other process where bubbles are a problem.

Sound waves have been used for decades for various processes and I am surprised that this appears to be the first time, they’ve applied to electrolysis.


I worked in a hydrogen factory around 1970 and have watched developments over the years.

I am now convinced that an individual or a company will come up with an affordable way to make green hydrogen.

Promising technologies in addition to this one include.

I can see a combination of a couple of methods.

December 22, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Centrica Partners With Hull-Based HiiRoc For Hydrogen Fuel Switch Trial At Humber Power Plant

The title of this post, is the same as that on this article on Business Live.

This is a paragraph.

It comes as the owner of British Gas has also increased its shareholding in the three-year-old business to five per cent. Last November it was one of several investors to pump £28 million into HiiRoc alongside Melrose Industries, HydrogenOne, Cemex, Hyundai and Kia, who joined existing strategic investors Wintershall Dea and VNG.

This could be sensational.

The reason I said that was that I used to share an office at ICI Mond Division, with Peter, who was putting instruments on a plant called the Badische. It was a new process to create acetylene. If I remember correctly, the process was as follows.

Ethylene was burned and then quenched in naptha.

The trouble was that the process produced a lot of carbon, which clogged the burners, and masses of black smoke, which upset everybody in Runcorn, especially on washing day!

Someone was worried that the plant might go into explosive limits, so Peter had devised a clever infra-red instrument to read the composition of the off-gas from the burner. It was found to be in explosive limits and ICI shut it down. BASF said ICI were wrong and there was no way to measure the composition of the off-gas anyway. A few months later BASF’s plant exploded and buried itself in a hillside in Southern Germany. Upon hearing this news, ICI shut the Badische for ever. ICI were annoyed in that they had to spend £200,000 on a flameless cutter to dismantle the plant.

I do wonder, if HiiROC have tamed BASF’s beast to do something useful, like produce hydrogen and carbon black!

November 2, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , | 3 Comments