Chart Industries Inc., a leading global manufacturer of liquefaction and cryogenic equipment serving multiple applications in the clean energy and industrial gas end markets, including hydrogen, announced the completion of an investment in Transform Materials (“Transform”) in the amount of $25 million for 5% of its equity.
Transform Materials is a sustainable chemical technology company that uses microwave plasma to convert natural gas into acetylene and hydrogen. Its highly selective, cost-effective, net-carbon-negative process converts the methane in natural gas into high-value products suitable for direct use or downstream reactions.
"We transform methane into acetylene and hydrogen, critical precursors for the synthesis of high-value chemical end products, without using traditional techniques that form carbon dioxide. That means we can meet important future needs of the petrochemical industry without creating harmful greenhouse gases," said David Soane Ph.D., Chairman of Transform Materials. "An important benefit of our technology is that it repurposes the carbon that methane—a potent greenhouse gas—contains, so that it doesn’t enter the atmosphere. We saw immediately how Chart’s process chemicals and hydrogen technologies can help us deliver clean, high-purity hydrogen and acetylene to our customers at scale."
In conjunction with this strategic investment, Chart and Transform also executed a binding commercial Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”). The MOU establishes the commercial collaboration and equipment supply arrangements for Chart to supply Transform projects. Transform Materials’ process has already been adopted via a global licensing agreement with DSM Nutritional Products Ltd. (“DSM”), who plans to utilize the patented Transform technology to produce certain vitamins, carotenoids, and nutritional ingredients.
In addition to DSM, Transform has multiple other commercial pipeline opportunities this year in both North America and Europe. Given this level of interest, Transform expects to begin construction of two or three plants in the next 12 months. The investment and commercial supply agreement with Transform will help facilitate opportunities to expand Chart’s equipment presence both geographically and across global customers, with per-plant potential content in the multi-million dollar range.
“This investment in and commercial agreement with Transform Materials is yet another step toward expanding our customers’ options in our high-growth clean-energy markets, in particular hydrogen,” stated Jill Evanko, Chart’s CEO and president. “Perhaps most impactful about Transform’s patented process technology is that there is no oxygen involved in the reaction, so therefore no carbon dioxide (“CO2”) is generated – the very definition of clean.”
This investment achieves all of Chart’s criteria for its strategic inorganic investments in clean energy, specialty markets, and repair and service:
- First, the investment brings access to customers and commercial projects that could not be accessed without significant organic investment.
- Second, the investment brings access to regions / geographies for the respective products and applications that otherwise could not readily be accessed due to lack of product experience in the region, certification requirements, or government funding and relationships.
- Third, the investment adds equipment or process that builds Chart’s “à la carte” or full-solution menu for applicable markets. For example:
- BlueInGreen water treatment technology + Chart bulk tanks
- Cryo Technologies helium and hydrogen liquefaction process + Chart storage, transport, brazed aluminum (“BAHX”) and air-cooled heat exchangers (“ACHX”)
- SES cryogenic carbon and direct air capture process + Chart’s ACHX, storage, vacuum insulated pipe, transport
- And now, Transform Materials’ hydrogen process + Chart’s pump, downstream liquefaction, storage, and distribution equipment