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Monolith Raises $300M+ To Reduce Fossil Fuel Dependency

Illustration of polar bear on a shrinking iceberg. [Dom Guzman]

The race to decarbonize the world by 2050 has started.

Monolith, a 10-year-old clean energy startup from Nebraska, announced Thursday it raised more than $300 million in funding co-led by TPG Rise Climate and Decarbonization Partners. SK Inc., Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America and Azimuth Capital Management participated in the round.

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The company says it was the first U.S. manufacturer to produce clean hydrogen at scale using methane pyrolysis, a process that uses renewable electricity to convert gas into hydrogen and carbon black.

Methane pyrolysis has long been heralded as a transition between fossil fuel-dependent energy sectors and a climate-friendly hydrogen-driven future that can power electricity, heat and and cars.

“Producing sustainable hydrogen and carbon black is crucial to decarbonizing the energy and materials industry,” said Meghan Sharp, global head of Decarbonization Partners in a statement from the company.

A greener future

Indeed, last year the White House laid out a strategy to achieve net-zero emissions in 30 years, following several countries’ pledges to pursue clean energy alternatives. Hydrogen, unlike most fossil fuels, doesn’t produce carbon dioxide when it combusts. It is a clean energy alternative the U.S. is looking into as a power source for cars and other vehicles.

According to Crunchbase data, hydrogen companies raised more than $1.28 billion in the last year, compared to $5.39 million the year prior.

Last year, Monolith signed a joint-venture agreement with SK Inc. to produce clean hydrogen and carbon black in South Korea’s energy sector. The company also entered into a partnership with Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. to produce carbon black for various tire products. Monolith estimates its methane pyrolysis process prevents around 2.3 tons of carbon dioxide from polluting the air for every ton of carbon black produced.

The fresh funding will go toward expanding Monolith’s partnerships within the industry and bolstering its technological developments.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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