Nordic Eco Solutions on the Way to Revolutionize the Automotive Industry

The transition to electric cars is dominant in the automotive industry and among investors. But innovations around hydrogen are gaining ground, and fast. The Skellefteå based company Nordic Eco Solutions have a cutting-edge technology and is looking for land to build the first factory.

- It sounds cocky, but once the vehicles are delivered, we have made sure that the fuel and the infrastructure are ready. As we see it, electric cars are made to run on hydrogen, says Christian Hagelberg, CEO at Nordic Eco Solutions.

It is a statement that requires its explanation, the conversion from an electric car to a so-called fuel-cell car is possible and can run on the same electric motor. The battery is replaced with fuel cells and the electricity is created there with the help of hydrogen. This means that the basic design for electric cars has been made and the transition in the factory to hydrogen and fuel cells is prepared. The benefit is that the car is refuelled in a few minutes and can drive up to 80 km, regardless of climate, and the only thing coming out of the exhaust pipe is water vapor. The hydrogen is refuelled in hydrogen tank stations that are similar to the once we know of today. Nordic Eco Solutions sees great benefits in building that infrastructure throughout Sweden. The numbers add up, both economically and environmentally, they say.

- Say we produce 15 tonnes hydrogen, that is enough to drive 1.5 million kilometres in a car or one year by truck and then you are down to very low investment costs. We are looking at a size that will produce 150 tonnes hydrogen, on which it is possible to drive 15 million kilometres in a car. When that investment is written off, we are talking about SEK 3-4 per 10 kilometres, says Tord Lindgren, innovator and long-time hydrogen missionary.

"The Interest Has Exploded"

He continues saying that they are talking with financiers about a project that includes 20 hydrogen stations. Nordic Eco Solutions aims at starting the hydrogen production when the market is ready and are about to start building the first factory in Skellefteå, where they are looking for suitable industrial land. The technologies are based on producing hydrogen using various forms of digestion or gasification technologies. Nordic Eco Solutions has unique technologies for a cost-effective process, the raw material is organic waste that is processed. The hydrogen is also produced without carbon dioxide emissions.

- This particular circularity is central and makes our technology a solution for the future. The raw material is waiting for us, it can be cow manure from the agricultural company, cultivated grass, slaughterhouse waste or food waste. And municipal waste also works really well. These solutions make it cheaper to refuel that today and in recent months the interest has just exploded. I cannot wait until the day I can drive around in fuel-cell car, says Christian and adds:

- When the vehicles are in place, we are ready with the technology for production, storage, distribution and refuelling. From well to wheel, he says.

Convert Diesel Engines

Nordic Eco Solutions does not want to put electric cars with a battery solution against fuel-cell cars but believes that both are needed in the transition to a more sustainable vehicle fleet.

- However, we are convinced that hydrogen will mean an even greater benefit for the environment and for the individual economy, says Christian.

They also have a strong collaboration with the German company, Keyou, which has a priced solution for configuring diesel engines to run on hydrogen.

- They have received fund capital so this solution can be in place very quickly. This means, for example, that Busspoolen in Västerbotten can start ordering Volvo buses, Solaris or whatever brand you want and then get access to this technology, says Tord.

Volvo and Daimler are collaborating on a fuel-cell solution and Toyota has gone the furthest with the model Mirai, which is the first serial produced hydrogen-powered fuel-cell car. In a few months, the second generation of Mirai will be available for purchase in Sweden.

- It is happening now, I am convinced of that. Only, six-seven years ago, when I gave lectures, people hardly knew what I was talking about and there was a lot of ignorance, even in the car industry. Northvolt are setting a great example in spreading knowledge about electric battery vehicles, but we have received international inquiries about whether we can get an infrastructure and production of hydrogen in Sweden.

Refine the Carbon into a Super Material

One thing Nordic Eco Solutions puts great importance to on their risk analysis to capture the carbon that arises in the production of hydrogen from organic raw materials.

– We make solid carbon material that can, for instance, be put back in the ground since we just remove the hydrogen from it. Our monitoring of the world around us shows that we will need to do this in order to be sustainable. Our sustainable hydrogen production from organic raw materials, also handles the carbon present in the raw material. But we have decided on a technology and have a supplier which will allow us to extract the carbon. We do, however, want to have more possibilities when we are offering it to the entire market, says Christian.

A typical example of further processing is to produce other products that the market wants and then it is a matter of taking care of the carbon in the raw material.

- We also have the technology ready to produce carbon nanotubes, which is a material that would really make our lives easier to live. Aircrafts, for instance, become twice as durable and weigh half as much, but the market is immature for these materials today. There will, however, be a time when reasonable prices to produce and will benefit the market and therefore it is important that we put this together in production and are at the forefront, says Christian.

Using the Expertise of Unboxx 

Nordic Eco Solutions has recently been incorporated in the Unboxx incubator in Skellefteå, which has a tailor-made program from commercializing the unique technology.

- It feels absolutely fantastic to work with Christian who recently has joined the company with all his knowledge and those at Unboxx who will help us reach the market. It is no longer a question of whether hydrogen will revolutionize the market, but when. We are there now. We have the technology, the raw material and a really well-made calculation and are working hard to find the sales, says Tord.

Read more about Nordic Eco Solutions here!

On photo: Tord Lindgren


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