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Molten Industries Raises $25M Series A for Clean Graphite and Hydrogen Production
Molten Industries Raises $25M Series A for Clean Graphite and Hydrogen Production

Molten Industries Raises $25M Series A for Clean Graphite and Hydrogen Production

  • 21-Jun-2024 7:49 PM
  • Journalist: Timothy Greene

Molten Industries ("Molten"), a fast-expanding U.S.-based startup that converts natural gas into clean graphite and hydrogen, has successfully closed a $25 million Series A funding round. Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV) led the funding round, with new participation from Sozo Ventures, Mark Heising, and Steelhead Capital. Existing investors, including Union Square Ventures, 50 Years, J4 Ventures, Moai Capital, UVC Partners, Jane Woodward, and Peter Attia, also contributed to the round. Molten intends to utilize this capital to construct its first modular commercial reactor in Oakland and position itself as a leading producer of graphite for lithium-ion batteries and clean hydrogen, aiming to facilitate decarbonization in the chemical and steel industries.

Dr. Caleb Boyd and Dr. Kevin Bush, participants in the Breakthrough Energy Fellows program, established Molten in 2021 with a vision to reduce carbon emissions in heavy industries worldwide. Molten is innovating in the battery sector by manufacturing high-grade graphite suitable for lithium-ion batteries using natural gas and renewable electricity. This innovation aims to fundamentally alter the cost dynamics and geographical limitations of the global graphite supply chain. Moreover, their technology can generate clean hydrogen as a valuable byproduct, contributing to the decarbonization efforts in sectors like steel and chemical production.

Graphite is a crucial mineral for batteries, and with global manufacturing and electric vehicle production expanding, countries are prioritizing secure access to critical materials such as graphite. Establishing diversified supply chains is essential for scaling up battery manufacturing, and Molten’s technology offers the United States an opportunity to produce graphite using domestic resources, thereby reducing costs.

Molten Industries' CTO, Caleb Boyd, highlighted the potential of Molten's hydrogen co-product, stating, "Clean liquid fuels, ammonia for fertilizers, plastics, and green steel all need a hydrogen feedstock that can rival petroleum-based products in cost." There is a significant challenge in the chemical, steel, and transportation sectors to secure a clean and cost-effective hydrogen source for their operations. Molten’s methane pyrolysis technology addresses this challenge." Molten is currently scouting locations for its inaugural commercial plant, projected to produce 5,000 tonnes of hydrogen and 15,000 tonnes of graphite annually. This facility will comprise approximately 20 modular commercial reactors, situated at a chemical or steel plant.

Carmichael Roberts of Breakthrough Energy Ventures emphasized the importance of securing dependable sources of critical materials such as graphite to facilitate the widespread adoption of EVs. He praised Molten for its innovative process that not only enables domestic graphite production but also achieves cost efficiencies, while concurrently generating valuable hydrogen as a co-product.

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