Raven SR Inc. (Raven SR), specializing in renewable fuels, recently announced the unanimous approval of its California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) permit by the Richmond City Council. This approval concerns Raven SR’s first bioenergy project to convert organic waste into hydrogen, to be located in Richmond, California.
This permit marks a major milestone in the approval of the first steam/CO2 reforming hydrogen production plant using organic waste as feedstock. The project aims to divert up to 99 wet tonnes of green and food waste per day from Republic Services’ WCCSL facility, to be treated using Raven SR’s non-combustion steam/CO2 reforming process. This technology will produce up to 2,400 metric tons of renewable hydrogen per year.
Avoid 7,200 metric tons of CO2 per year
By diverting organic waste, this project will help meet the requirements of California’s SB 1383 law, and could avoid up to 7,200 metric tons of CO2 from landfills each year. In addition, the project aims to generate at least 60% of its own electricity by using methane from the landfill in new, state-of-the-art power generators. This will reduce current air emissions and dependence on the electricity grid for the Raven SR process, which is combustion-free.
Raven SR’s Richmond project is currently in the final stages of obtaining a permit from the Bay Area Air Quality Management Department (BAAQMD), which had already approved the company’s pilot installation. Once approved for construction, Raven SR plans to start work this summer, with full commercial commissioning scheduled for the first quarter of 2024.
To secure the hydrogen supply, purchase agreements have been signed with several companies, including Hyzon Motors and Chevron New Energies, who are also equity investors in the project. These companies plan to market hydrogen at filling stations in the Bay Area and Northern California, contributing to the energy transition to zero-emission vehicles. Hyzon, a global supplier of fuel cell electric utility vehicles, plans to provide hydrogen refueling for fuel cell trucks at a hub in Richmond.
Supplying low-carbon fuels
The technology developed by Raven SR is a non-combustible thermal chemical reduction process that converts organic waste and landfill gas into hydrogen and Fischer-Tropsch synthetic fuels. Unlike other hydrogen production technologies, Raven SR’s steam/CO2 reforming process does not require fresh water as a feedstock, and uses less than half the energy required for electrolysis. This process is more efficient than conventional hydrogen production, and can provide fuels with low or even negative carbon intensity.
In addition, Raven SR aims to produce as much energy as possible locally, to reduce dependence on the power grid, or even to be independent of it. Its modular design enables local production of renewable hydrogen and synthetic liquid fuels from local waste, on a scalable basis. The Richmond facility is owned and operated by Raven SR S1 LLC (Raven SR S1). Chevron New Energies, a division of Chevron U.S.A. Inc, a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX), and Hyzon Motors Inc (NASDAQ: HYZN) are collaborating with Raven SR to commercialize the operation. Chevron and Hyzon are among Raven SR’s first strategic investors, alongside ITOCHU, Ascent Hydrogen Fund and Samsung Ventures.