A Brief History of Proton Technologies
Hydrogen (H2) has become a focus of energy transition conversations for good reason; when used it does not directly produce carbon dioxide emissions.
One difficulty is that hydrogen must be separated from other compounds through concentrated inputs and reactions of other resources. Thus, current hydrogen production methods are costly, complex, and carbon intensive. Lending way for a reluctant adoption of this clean energy source.
In 2015, during a simple conversation, geologist Grant Strem and his friend, the Department Head of the Petroleum and Chemical Engineering Faculty at the University of Calgary, Dr. Ian Gates, realized an opportunity existed to commercialize a new production method. Recalling a research paper on in-situ gasification, an idea combining existing technologies with this new demand for a clean fuel came to life.
In March of 2016, Proton Technologies Canada was created to commercialize clean, low-cost hydrogen production from oilfields. Patents, simulations, lab, and field demonstrations soon followed.
Coined ‘Clear H2’, the companies patented process and separation technology involves a carbon-free, low-cost opportunity for extracting hydrogen using previously expensed infrastructure. In Canada, existing energy infrastructure such as old oilfields, wells, roads, powerlines, exist in abundance. While these investments have been centered around a carbon-intensive system, Proton can repurpose them to align with clean energy goals.
For example, most oil and gas fields produce well below 50% of the oil or gas in the ground. When oilfields are abandoned, they still contain huge amounts of hydrocarbons that have not been extracted due to commercial or technical constraints. The Proton process includes injecting oxygen into a wellbore, triggering downhole reactions within the hydrocarbon reservoir, and filtering the extraction of the downhole gases.
Infrastructural energy investments that were written off as uneconomic can now become increasingly valuable within the emerging green economy. Existing pipelines, compressor stations, power generation and more energy equipment are slowly shifting towards a hydrogen friendly system.
Most importantly, this synthesis of old and new infrastructure encourages the development of a cleaner fuel economy, spearheading the energy transition and the opportunity to make significant change in the global fight against carbon pollutants.
In addition to securing the infrastructure and producing assets within which to implement the technology, Proton has had the privilege of assembling an experienced technical and operational team, alongside a global support network. In fact, Canada leads the world in expertise of down-hole combustion and integrated reservoir management. This foundation of knowledge and experience underlies Protons industry leadership in the rapidly expanding hydrogen sector.
Today, Proton Technologies is positioned as a global thought leader in the transition to clean fuels. As the global energy market continues to transform, hydrogen is now at the epicenter of the conversation.
We believe that clear hydrogen will become a critical component of the global movement to decarbonize the energy industry by turning decommissioned oil and gas fields into highly prized, lucrative sources of clean energy.