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NW Natural and Modern Hydrogen unveil clean H2 production, carbon capture project

NW Natural and Modern Hydrogen welcomed more than 100 guests and employees to an official unveiling of a new project that is producing clean H2 onsite while capturing solid carbon. Equipment designed by Modern Hydrogen and installed at NW Natural’s Central Resource Center in southeast Portland uses a process called methane pyrolysis.

Solid carbon being captured from this process is collected and incorporated into Modern Hydrogen’s proprietary, performance-enhancing asphalt products. These are used in applications such as paving and road repair projects—including a section of asphalt surrounding the equipment installation at NW Natural’s facility. H2 generated onsite is blended with natural gas and delivered via existing energy infrastructure.

“Over the years we have held to our core values of safety and service, while embracing new technologies and better ways of doing things,” said NW Natural CEO David Anderson. “Today we’re looking to renewable natural gas, clean H2, carbon capture and other ways to decarbonize our system. People are eager for solutions that can be put into action today, and we’re proud to play our part.”

“We are proud to stand at the forefront of this transformative journey, pushing the boundaries of what's possible in energy production and environmental stewardship,” said Modern Hydrogen Co-Founder and CEO Tony Pan. “Together, we are not just witnessing, but actively participating in history with the launch of innovative systems that revolutionize H2 production, leverage existing infrastructure for a cleaner future, capture and repurpose carbon, and significantly reduce the carbon footprint of gas utilities.”

Modern Hydrogen’s Tony Pan cited several landmark firsts being achieved through this utility partnership, including the first utility distributed pyrolysis system, the first pipeline injection of pyrolytic H2, and the first solid carbon capture project for both companies. 

NW Natural’s David Anderson credited the Modern Hydrogen and NW Natural project teams as well workers represented by local unions and contractors in getting the project up-and-running. 

This three-year pilot project is the latest effort by NW Natural to explore potential H2 applications. This includes extensive testing at our Sherwood Operations and Training facility, demonstrating the safety and performance of H2 blends ranging from 5%−20% in natural gas systems and equipment. 

NW Natural is working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on multiple fronts, reimagining the role of the natural gas system and the fuel that we deliver. This includes pursuing a combination of decarbonization measures that include energy efficiency, renewable energy, carbon offsets, and carbon capture. Replacing conventional natural gas over time with alternatives like renewable natural gas and clean H2 is central to achieving that vision.