According to a Forbes report, Bill Gates runs a secret, unlimited clean energy project called Koloma. This project has managed to quietly raise $91 million to drill for carbon-free hydrogen that is continuously being generated underground. Denver-based company Koloma has managed to quietly raise an impressive $91 million. Their goal is to drill for carbon-free hydrogen, which is constantly being generated underground.
If successful, this breakthrough could spark a true revolution in the clean energy industry and open the doors to a potential $1 trillion market.
37 years ago, an underground coal fire forced Tom Darrah’s family from their home in Centralia, Pennsylvania. Decades later, the Kennedy-era fire still burns through cracks in the coal below ground, releasing highly toxic carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide. This has resulted in Centralia becoming a ghost town. The environmental disaster you mentioned is believed to be one of the longest in United States history.
A framed photo of Centralia taken before the fire is on display in Professor Darrah’s office at Ohio State University. The professor is considered one of the world’s leading experts on geosciences and a new form of underground energy that could dramatically accelerate the move away from planet-destroying fossil fuels: so-called “geological” hydrogen. It has been found in large deposits across tectonic plates where conditions are ripe for the lightest element on earth to remain in its pure gaseous form.
dr Tom Darrah, co-founder and CTO of Koloma said:
“This is the case on all continents. The magnitude of how much there is is deep.”
Climate change is an undeniable reality and its effects are already being felt around the world. Heat waves are becoming more extreme, rainstorms more violent, and hurricanes more destructive. This is due to the fact that the most abundant non-carbon element in the universe has the highest amount of energy per weight of any other fuel. So far, however, no one has managed to harness this secret strain and turn it into a profitable business.
Koloma, in search of unlimited clean energy
Koloma, a Denver-based startup, believes it has found a formula to do just that. Co-founder Darrah has 16 patents pending for the efficient search and production of hydrogen. This shows us his vision of a future where we will search for hydrogen through drilling, just as we did in the past searching for oil and gas.
The Koloma company was founded discreetly two years ago and has so far operated in secret. Initial drilling is currently underway in the Midwest. Using the Columbus laboratory in Darrah, they analyze rock and gas samples to determine which sites have the best volumes and purity levels of hydrogen. This startup has impressive financial backing. The company has secured a $91 million investment from Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Energy Impact Partners, Evōk Innovations, Prelude Ventures and Piva Capital. This number makes it the best-funded startup in this space by a wide margin.
According to the Goldman Sachs report, the world currently consumes about 100 million tons of hydrogen every year. This market is estimated to be worth more than $120 billion. Much of the natural gas is used in various industries such as oil refining, fertilizer manufacturing, chemicals and food processing. However, it is important to note that their manufacture and use contribute to carbon emissions in the environment.
The United States government sees it as a vital role in promoting carbon-free energy sources and transportation fuels. For this reason, it invests a lot of money in these areas to promote their development and adoption. The Infrastructure Act of 2021 has earmarked around $9.5 billion to fund clean hydrogen-related projects. Additionally, last year’s Inflation Reduction Act included a tax incentive granting a $3 credit per kilogram of zero-carbon fuel.
Scientific experts like Doug Wicks, program director for the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), see geological hydrogen as an innovative and relevant option to replace fossil fuels. Koloma and his sponsors have high financial expectations. According to Goldman Sachs, the hydrogen market is estimated to double to $250 billion by 2030 and exceed $1 trillion annually by 2050. In a 2022 blog post, Gates highlighted the geological potential of hydrogen as a clean energy source.
The Big Deal of Unlimited Clean Energy
Co-founder Darrah, CEO Pete Johnson and Chief Commercial Officer Paul Harraka have decided to keep the company’s commercial launch date a secret. While they have not previously provided any information to the media, they are focused on working quietly to ensure a successful launch. Considering Koloma’s perspective, tens of billions of dollars in revenue could be generated within ten years.
It is encouraging to see more and more people realizing that the earth has vast reserves of an odorless, colorless and carbon-free energy source. Unlike oil, gas and coal, this source is constantly being produced without running out. This development is both hopeful and unexpected for the future, especially as the catastrophic effects of human-caused climate change can no longer be denied.
According to energy expert Michael Webber, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, there is a possibility that large amounts of hydrogen are stored underground. However, it remains to be determined how much can be accessed cost-effectively. In addition to his role as CTO at Energy Impact Partners, he is also an investor in Koloma. However, he declined to comment on the start-up in question.
Michael Webber, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Texas, said, “A kilogram of hydrogen is worth $1.” So if it’s a trillion kilograms, that’s roughly $1 trillion in hydrogen, a fraction of which succeeds can be produced. It’s big enough to say, ‘Okay, that’s exciting.'”
Hydrogen has long been considered a clean energy option, but has yet to realize its full potential. However, when used in a fuel cell, it can be converted into pure, clean energy: electricity produced using only water as a by-product. This fuel, either in gaseous or liquid form, can be used in a wide range of vehicles such as trucks, buses, cars and even ships and trains with zero CO2 emissions. It is also suitable for use in stationary power generators.
Hydrogen is a fascinating chemical element, but it can also be difficult to work with.
It is the lightest element in the periodic table and is often found in nature in combination with other elements such as oxygen, carbon and sulphur. Natural gas can be transported through pipelines, however its flow can cause the pipelines to become brittle and leak. In addition, it should be noted that natural gas is highly flammable and must be compressed and subcooled for storage, which requires additional energy consumption.
In the US, millions of dollars in incentives are being implemented to boost the production of “green” hydrogen, made from water and renewable energy. Also encouraged is the production of ‘blue’ hydrogen, which is made from natural gas but the resulting carbon is captured and stored so that it does not end up in the atmosphere. According to Pero Koloma, geological hydrogen, known as white or gold, is emerging as a cheaper and less energetically demanding alternative.
With information from www.hydrogen-central.com
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