ARKANSAS, February 12 (Future Headlines)- Koloma, a startup at the forefront of the burgeoning clean energy industry, recently secured a substantial $245.7 million in a financing round, catapulting it ahead of competitors in its mission to extract carbon-free hydrogen from natural underground deposits. This significant milestone, disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Feb. 9, follows closely on the heels of Koloma’s success in winning a research grant from a U.S. Energy Department program. The grant aims to refine methods for stimulating underground hydrogen production and extracting this elemental fuel, underscoring Koloma’s leadership in advancing innovative solutions for sustainable energy.
Led by prominent investors such as Khosla Ventures, Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, and United Airline’s Sustainable Flight Fund, the financing round marks a strategic collaboration between industry giants and visionary backers. With previous support from cleantech pioneers including Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures and Energy Impact Partners, Koloma’s total funding now exceeds an impressive $300 million, affirming investor confidence in the company’s vision and potential.
Paul Harraka, Koloma’s chief business officer and co-founder, expressed gratitude for the support from leading companies and investors, highlighting the collective commitment to driving forward the clean energy revolution. Harraka’s sentiment reflects Koloma’s dedication to pioneering technologies that offer scalable and sustainable solutions to pressing environmental challenges.
Central to Koloma’s innovative approach is its utilization of groundbreaking research by Ohio State University geologist Tom Darrah, who serves as the company’s Chief Technology Officer and co-founder. Darrah’s extensive expertise in identifying underground hydrogen reserves and leveraging established drilling techniques from the oil and gas industry has propelled Koloma to the forefront of the clean energy landscape.
The discovery of a significant hydrogen deposit in a mine in Albania, reported by Science on Feb. 8, underscores the global potential of geologic hydrogen extraction. Darrah emphasizes that hydrogen reserves exist across every continent, highlighting the vast scale of this valuable resource. Koloma’s collaboration with Darrah’s research lab at Ohio State University, housed within the state-of-the-art Energy Advancement and Innovation Center, further demonstrates its commitment to driving innovation and research excellence.
Hydrogen’s versatility as an energy source, capable of reducing carbon emissions, powering vehicles, and storing or generating electricity, positions it as a cornerstone of the transition to a sustainable energy future. While traditional methods of industrial hydrogen production rely on carbon-intensive processes, the emergence of carbon-free “green” hydrogen offers a promising alternative. Koloma’s geologic hydrogen extraction presents a compelling proposition as a potentially cost-effective solution, leveraging established drilling techniques to access vast underground reserves.
Andy Lubershane, head of research for Energy Impact Partners, acknowledges Koloma’s leadership in the field, citing its unique advantages and pioneering efforts. With proposed regulations from the Treasury Department poised to include geologic hydrogen in new tax credit incentives for clean hydrogen production, Koloma’s innovative approach stands to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the hydrogen industry.
Reporting by Moe Khaled; Editing by Sarah White