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Bill Gates is 'Digging' Hydrogen



In a recent visit to Modern Hydrogen, a Seattle-area climate tech startup, Bill Gates got his hands dirty by filling a parking lot pothole with a new type of asphalt that traps carbon. Modern Hydrogen has developed a device that cracks natural gas molecules, producing hydrogen for fuel and a product known as solid carbon. This solid carbon has various industrial applications, including its use as a key ingredient in asphalt.


Gates, who is a founding investor in Modern Hydrogen, was impressed by the company's innovative technology. During his visit, he had the opportunity to check out a demo version of the company's methane pyrolysis reactor, which converts natural gas or biogas into pure hydrogen. The hydrogen fuel produced by this process burns cleanly, emitting only water vapor as a byproduct. It can be used for energy production, industrial processes like steel manufacturing, and fuel cells.


Modern Hydrogen's reactors are small enough to be placed where the fuel is needed, making them a cost-effective solution for hydrogen production. Additionally, about one-quarter of the hydrogen produced is recycled back into the system to power the generation of more fuel, making the reactors self-powered in optimal conditions.


One of the notable aspects of Modern Hydrogen's technology is the solid carbon it produces as a byproduct. The company discovered that this solid carbon is an excellent match for use in asphalt without requiring additional processing. By replacing some of the fossil fuel-derived bitumen used in asphalt with solid carbon, the climate impacts of asphalt are reduced, carbon is sequestered, and costs are saved.


This visit by Bill Gates highlights the potential of hydrogen as a clean and sustainable energy source. With its versatile applications and environmental benefits, hydrogen is gaining attention as a key player in the transition to a greener future.

To learn more about Bill Gates' visit to Modern Hydrogen and the innovative carbon-trapping asphalt, you can read the full article on GeekWire


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