A Canadian company has begun selling “green hydrogen” on the open market at a price around 80% than conventional grey hydrogen.

It is the perhaps the first test of demand for clean hydrogen in North America at current prices. Grey hydrogen produced from steam methane reforming — which releases nine to 12 tonnes of CO2 for every tonne of H2 produced — typically costs about $1.50 per kilogram.

Quebec-based company H2 V Energies is putting its “green hydrogen” on the market for C$3.50 ($2.67) per kilogram — a price that it points out is cheaper than diesel fuel. Orders taken now will be delivered in 2022 from its yet-to-be-constructed Alpha plant in Bécancour, Quebec, which would produce 49,000 tonnes of the hydrogen peryear.

Green hydrogen is normally defined as H2 produced by using renewable energy to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen inside an electrolyser. H2 V Energies’ “green hydrogen” will be produced by using hydroelectricity to power a “proven and patented” plasma gasification system that will turn waste wood (residual forest biomass, bark, mixed papers and construction waste) into syngas, which will then be refined into 99.8%-pure hydrogen.

The company claims that its process will use four to six times less electricity per kilo of green hydrogen than electrolysis; produce more water than it consumes by recovering H2O from the biomass, and reduce methane emissions from local wood decomposition. Much like LNG-powered ships, the green hydrogen would be transported by tankers fueled by the same H2.

“By declaring that we are accepting orders today, we are taking an important step towards the realization of our ambitious project’’ said Normand Goyette, president and chief executive of H2 V Energies. “This essential step is the result of hard work over the past few years and it sets the process in motion towards the construction of the plant that will be located in the Bécancour Waterfront Industrial Park.’’