NW Natural to Partner with Modern Electron on Exciting Pilot Project to Turn Methane into Clean Hydrogen and Solid Carbon

Oregon-based utility poised to test cutting-edge energy technology at its Central Portland facility.

PORTLAND, Ore.--()--NW Natural, a 163-year-old gas utility based in Portland, announced today a partnership with Washington-based Modern Electron to create clean hydrogen directly from natural gas and blend it into its existing natural gas distribution network.

The innovative technology process known as concurrent combustion methane pyrolysis is designed to produce clean hydrogen and solid carbon using only natural gas and air as inputs – and does not require any electricity, water, or consumable catalyst. “This technology could provide an incredibly elegant and flexible way of producing clean hydrogen – and potentially at a very low cost whenever and wherever we need it on our system to help decarbonize,” said Kim Heiting, Sr. Vice President of Operations for NW Natural. The technology, which is planned for pilot at NW Natural’s Central Portland facility, is one of many solutions the utility is pursuing in its efforts to achieve carbon neutrality for the energy it delivers to customers, as detailed in its Destination Zero report.

Hydrogen created by this clean pyrolysis process has the potential to be used for heating in industrial, commercial, and residential applications. Solid carbon resulting from the process could be turned into products such as asphalt, construction materials, automobile tires and soil amendments.

This project will be the first in a line of scheduled gas utility installations from Modern Electron, the suburban Seattle-based sustainable heat and power technology company. “The fastest and most economical way to reduce CO2 emissions at a national scale is to effectively leverage existing infrastructure. By decarbonizing natural gas at the point of use, our Modern Hydrogen products help businesses reduce their carbon footprints without the cost and complexity of changing their processes. We are all about decarbonization. And we are excited about our partnership with NW Natural,” said Mothusi Pahl, Vice President of Business Development and Government Affairs.

The pilot is expected to go live in early 2023.

About Modern Electron

Modern Electron is a sustainable heat & hydrogen company. Modern Electron’s gas decarbonization products are designed to generate cost-effective hydrogen from natural gas at the point of use without CO2 emissions. This “Modern Hydrogen” approach eliminates the logistics, costs, and emissions associated with traditional hydrogen generation, transportation, and storage. Built for continuous hydrogen supply in process heat, power generation, and environmental/space/water heating, Modern Electron's proprietary Concurrent Combustion and Pyrolysis technology has the ability to accelerate decarbonization. North American gas utilities trust Modern Electron for cost-effective clean hydrogen in industrial, commercial, residential, and transit sectors. Learn more at www.ModernHydrogen.com.

About NW Natural

NW Natural is a local distribution company that currently provides natural gas service to approximately 2.5 million people in more than 140 communities through more than 780,000 meters in Oregon and Southwest Washington with one of the most modern pipeline systems in the nation. NW Natural consistently leads the industry with high J.D. Power & Associates customer satisfaction scores. NW Natural, a part of Northwest Natural Holding Company, (NYSE: NWN) (NW Natural Holdings), is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and has been doing business for more than 160 years. NW Holdings owns NW Natural, NW Natural Renewables Holdings (NW Natural Renewables), NW Natural Water Company (NW Natural Water), and other business interests. We have a longstanding commitment to safety, environmental stewardship, and taking care of our employees and communities. Learn more in our latest ESG Report.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements regarding planned projects and the likelihood, timing, outcome, costs and use of any products associated therewith or related thereto, technology and process innovations, strategic goals and visions, environmental initiatives, decarbonization and the role of natural gas and the gas delivery system and infrastructure, including decarbonization goals, solutions and timelines, clean hydrogen partnerships, projects, investments and other renewable initiatives, procurement of renewable energy for customers, environmental stewardship, energy transition, and other statements that are other than statements of historical facts. Forward-looking statements are based on current beliefs and expectations and are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties, including those discussed in NW Natural’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in NW Natural’s Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed thereafter. The forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this release, and NW Natural is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any such obligation to, update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise, except as may otherwise be required by law.


Stefanie Week | stefanie.week@nwnatural.com | 503.739.9902


Stefanie Week | stefanie.week@nwnatural.com | 503.739.9902