Industry and academic collaborative formed in Midwest to decarbonize, advance clean hydrogen use

Published on August 11, 2022 by Chris Galford

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A new collaborative of industry and academic institutions has formed in the Midwest, with a goal of decarbonizing the region’s industry sector, while improving both the production and end-uses of hydrogen and carbon capture technologies.

Calling itself the Greater St. Louis and Illinois Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub Industrial Cluster, the group will work together on infrastructure development and the use of new technologies to advance individual members’ decarbonization goals and slash greenhouse gas emissions for the region at large by 2035. Initial members include a variety of big names: Ameren, Burns McDonnell, MPLX LP (and its sponsor, Marathon Petroleum Corp.), Marquis Industrial Complex, Alton Steel, The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Inc., Walmart, Mitsubishi Power, Plug Power, Spire, Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Greater St. Louis, Inc. and the Leadership Council of Southwestern Illinois.

“New technologies will be important to achieving Ameren’s carbon reduction goals and helping our customers achieve their goals,” Mark Fronmuller, senior vice president of strategy, innovation, sustainability and risk at Ameren, said. “We believe participating in these efforts will lead to breakthroughs in future generations of reliable, carbon-free energy.”

Backed by the World Economic Forum, the group’s members will also collaborate with other clean hydrogen hubs through existing infrastructure and natural resources. To do so, it intends to make use of rivers, interstate highway connections, geology favorable to CO2 storage, existing natural gas pipeline and delivery systems and the states’ various educational institutions.

“One of St. Louis’ strengths is the diversity of our industrial partnerships from the energy, power, steel, manufacturing and transportation sectors, which is enhanced by our infrastructure network and availability of natural resources,” Jason Hall, CEO of Greater St. Louis, Inc., which represents a 15-county business community, said. “This will drive inclusive growth through the protection and creation of jobs and the deployment of sustainable and equitable energy transition solutions.”