Cody Bateman

GENH2 History

GenH2’s initial investors found Cody through his work at Cryotek. Cody worked on testing and analysis and defining new technological procedures and devices for hydrogen compression and storage. Such work in the field of cryotechnology helped create devices for cryogenic and hydrogen systems.

Most work over the last 9 years has been done under the Cryotek umbrella in association with the Cryogenic test lab at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The commercialization of cryogenic concepts for technologies came out of that lab, such as test equipment, thermal insulation and devices. Cryotek licensed some technologies from NASA to commercialize them. 

The hydrogen economy began to gain traction during the pandemic because people had the time to start listening to the technology teams about what is needed and understand the real demand. When it comes to gathering data on hydrogen, Cody emphasizes that it is important to listen to what the research and papers are saying. Other people are hearing and seeing different things in the hydrogen economy. It’s not just NASA, DoD, and universities you get data from anymore – the nuggets are out there and different approaches may be required.

Listening to the data, what people in the hydrogen energy sector are hearing is the same thing James Fesmire and Cody Bateman have been seeing: you have to go with liquid! But, how do you do that? Cody  and James  worked to solve the problem by listening to what the data was saying and asking the right questions.

Cody Bateman working on some equipment

The current objective is to promote hydrogen growth, reduce the cost of infrastructure and accelerate the hydrogen economy. Cody advises colleagues building the hydrogen economy to listen to the economic and government sources, have an open mindset and draw from those like himself with decades and decades of experience. As he has said: “You can’t learn this in a class. People can’t do this in a garage.”

Cody Bateman is now combining all his cryogenic work with all of his business work (even from such diverse former clients as Citibank and Saks Fifth Avenue) and tying it all together to create solutions based on his experiences in both fields.

GenH2 is taking cryogenic research from Cryotek and applying it to hydrogen. In utilizing cryotechnology, the company is benefitting from over $200 million of research and design, reflecting decades of research and work with NASA and the Department of Energy to make it commercially viable.

The goal is straightforward: Commercialize cryotechnology and give back to Americans who paid for it with technology that can change the world. GenH2 is built on a foundation of research that demonstrates that hydrogen will be the next energy carrier for the nation and the world.

In October of 2021, this important announcement hit the wires and made international news:

Shell-Led Consortium Selected by DOE to Demonstrate Feasibility of  Large-Scale Liquid Hydrogen Storage

Ambitious Engineering Challenge Provides Potential Pathway Toward Stable, Global Hydrogen Supply Chain

HOUSTON – October 13, 2021 – A consortium of public, private and academic experts led by Shell International Exploration and Production, Inc. (Shell), a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc, is pioneering an ambitious path to enable large-scale liquid hydrogen (LH2) storage for international trade applications. This is a largely untapped field with potential for advancing the global commercialization of hydrogen as an accessible, affordable and low carbon energy commodity.

Shell and the consortium partners—including McDermott’s CB&I Storage Solutions, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, GenH2 and the University of Houston—have been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office to demonstrate that a large-scale LH2 tank, with a capacity ranging from 20,000 to 100,000 cubic meters, is both feasible and cost-competitive at import and export terminals. The DOE has awarded $6 million to finance the project, and Shell and CB&I Storage Solutions will both provide an additional $3 million each, for a total project fund of $12 million.

“A cost-effective, long-range hydrogen supply chain can have a transformative impact in shaping a sustainable future for energy,” said Yuri Sebregts, Chief Technology Officer for Shell. “Our consortium recognizes that this project can become a cornerstone in making that future possible. It’s a sizable engineering challenge—but we have the right people, partners and outlook to deliver this first-of-its-kind LH2 storage technology.”

“McDermott is leveraging the sixty years of LH2 storage technology expertise of our CB&I Storage Solutions business to exponentially scale up safe capacity thresholds to meet growing demands,” said Samik Mukherjee, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, McDermott International. “This consortium will accelerate that momentum as we work together to advance the next generation of sustainable energy.”

The consortium will collaborate to develop a technically innovative and economically viable concept design for the large scale LH2 storage tank. Additionally, the group will engineer and construct a scaled-down demonstration tank that will be tested to validate the feasibility of the design and the thermal model for commercial-scale design. 

“GenH2 is focused on establishing efficient manufacturing capabilities and repeatable processes to mass produce standard solutions for hydrogen production, liquefaction, storage and transfer,” said Cody Bateman, Founder and CEO of GenH2, a leader in liquid hydrogen infrastructure. “We’re excited to be part of this consortium in demonstrating the viability of LH2 storage solutions that will facilitate a global shift to carbon free energy.” 

“The Cryogenics Test Laboratory at Kennedy leverages its experience supporting space exploration to provide cryogenic services for government and industry partners, cryogenic expertise and experimental testing and technical standards for energy-efficient cryogenics on Earth and in space,” said Adam Swanger, NASA principal investigator for the Cryo Lab. “For many years, Kennedy has had the largest liquid hydrogen storage tanks in the world and we’re excited to lend our years of experience in working with liquid hydrogen and liquid nitrogen to assist with this project.”

This project aims to advance the US as a global energy leader in LH2-based international supply chain development and facilitate the commercialization of both blue and green hydrogen export opportunities. The insulation technology, cryogenic testing equipment and thermal model developed under this program aims to have widespread benefits for several LH2 applications.

“I am honored to represent the University of Houston on this project,” said Vemuri Balakotaiah, Ph.D., a professor and the Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished University Chair in the William A. Brookshire Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Houston. “I am eager to work with the University of Houston students and post-doctoral fellows alongside the other consortium companies in the development of effective insulation and thermal models of commercial scale LH2tanks.”

This public, private and academic endeavor will support the goals of the DOE H2@Scale and Hydrogen Shot initiatives, bringing stakeholders together to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen and advance its role in the energy transition. 

Shell will lead the project and provide guidance on hydrogen supply chain and safety. CB&I Storage Solutions will provide engineering, design and LH2 construction storage expertise. GenH2 will design and manufacture one of the world’s most advanced thermal testing devices, known as Cryostat-900. NASA will work closely with GenH2 on novel testing development. The University of Houston will focus their efforts on the creation of detailed thermal models of the proposed insulation systems.
The ability to transport hydrogen between countries via pipelines and ships will be a key element of the future energy system. Multilateral cooperation between government and industry, as well as coordinated investment in infrastructure, ships and international standards, are fundamental to achieving an effective hydrogen supply chain.  

TOWARDS A LIQUID HYDROGEN FUTURE

Until now, the idea of the mainstream use of liquid hydrogen in the areas of energy and transportation has been mostly theoretical.

Testing and expertise under actual-use conditions are required to validate models as analytical approaches alone will not work. The environments, pressures, vacuum, and extreme conditions are complex and test data are essential to establish a baseline for modeling and analysis.

Lab-scale testing with liquid hydrogen paves the way for companies, manufacturers, universities, and others to test for essential data. Product performance, evaluation, and implementation requires a combination of novel design, use of new materials and technologies, and modeling. With design iterations and real-world testing with liquid hydrogen can mass production of complex cryogenic equipment be enabled.

Cost-efficiency and scale-out are also key factors along with right-sizing for different end-use applications. Target size range and safety requirements are also specific to the different operational use cases. Comparing from micro-scale to mega-scale equipment needs allows for accurate performance predictions.

GenH2 will be working on the manufacturing and mass production of liquid hydrogen technology, products and solutions to build out infrastructure. As research and development keeps advancing, the promise of liquid hydrogen will rapidly increase. These solutions will be further developed and optimized under the leadership of the Chief Architect James Fesmire and CEO Cody Bateman.