Monolith raises US$300 mn for hydrogen and carbon black technology

Monolith raises US$300 mn for hydrogen and carbon black technology

Monolith, a global leader in clean hydrogen, carbon black and ammonia, has obtained an investment round of more than US$300 million. Led by TPG Rise Climate, the climate investing strategy of TPG’s global impact investing platform TPG Rise, with Decarbonization Partners, a partnership between BlackRock and Temasek, as co-lead, the investment marks the latest milestone in the company’s global decarbonisation efforts.

Additional investment was also received from NextEra Energy Resources, SK, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America and Azimuth Capital Management. The existing investor group, including Azimuth Capital Management, Cornell Capital and Warburg Pincus will retain their majority ownership stake in the company.

Monolith cleanly produces essential materials including hydrogen and carbon black by utilising a proprietary breakthrough in commercial-scale methane pyrolysis, and was the first US manufacturer to produce clean hydrogen using methane pyrolysis at scale. This innovation attracted worldwide attention, prompting companies like SK to sign a memorandum of understanding last October with Monolith to produce clean hydrogen and carbon black in South Korea. It also generated a collaboration agreement and letter of intent with The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company late in 2021.

This latest round of funding will be applied toward further technological development that will offer next generation product capabilities and other corporate-level expansion. It will also enable Monolith’s continued development of a deep backlog of clean hydrogen, ammonia and carbon projects with industry leading partners.

“Our investment in Monolith reflects TPG Rise Climate’s pursuit of companies developing clean molecules and materials, providing sustainable, cost-competitive alternatives to carbon and hydrogen-based products,” said Jonathan Garfinkel, Partner at TPG and senior member of its climate investing team. “Following a decade of research and development, Monolith has developed expansive intellectual property, deployed the methane pyrolysis process in innovative ways, and established itself as a unique solution for an industry that is otherwise incredibly emissions intensive. We look forward to partnering with Monolith to further develop and scale its technology.”

“Producing sustainable hydrogen and carbon black is crucial to decarbonising the energy and materials industry. We are pleased to support Monolith’s growth and continued expansion,” said Dr. Meghan Sharp, Global Head of Decarbonization Partners. “Monolith has established itself as a technology leader in methane pyrolysis, providing sustainable and low-cost hydrogen and carbon black from natural gas. We see significant opportunity for the company to continue scaling its technology, enabling the decarbonisation of a broad range of important end markets.”

The company has attracted the interest of numerous high-profile clean energy investors and recently received conditional approval for a more than US$1 billion loan from the Department of Energy Loan Programs Office to expand its production facilities in Nebraska. The DOE loan has not yet closed and is subject to satisfaction of final conditions.

Headquartered in Lincoln, Neb., Monolith was founded in 2012 and currently operates its first commercial-scale production facility in Hallam, Neb., and has offices and R&D facilities in Lincoln, San Carlos, Calif., Denver, Colo., and Kansas City, Kan. Its newest production facility, Olive Creek 2, is expected to be completed in 2026.