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Nium raises funds to replace Haber-Bosch, the most polluting chemical industrial process on Earth

The Research Complex, Harwell, Oxfordshire, England — June 6th, 2023 — Nanotech­nology company, Nium, raises $3 million in seed funding to scale up its green ammonia technologies.

Nium is decar­bon­ising chemistry, delivering energy and eliminating emissions starting with the most polluting chemical industrial process on this planet: ammonia production.

Leading global agri-food-tech venture capital investor, AgFunder, led the round. They are joined by one of the world’s foremost deeptech investors, DCVC. The Silicon Valley funds join existing pre-seed investors in the UK and Europe, including Carbon 13, in supporting Nium in its next phase of growth.

With this capital raise, Nium is assembling its first minions’ — small scale, modular, low energy consumption reactors to produce green ammonia. The minions contain Nium’s patent pending catalyst, delivering ammonia at a fraction of the price and pollution of traditional ammonia production methods.

Ammonia is critical to humanity but the challenge is in its production. Today, 96% of Ammonia relies on Haber-Bosch, the most polluting chemical industrial process on our planet. It’s this problem that Nium aims to solve. The low pressure and low temperature conditions of Nium’s system allows for onsite synthesis of ammonia, without emissions, powered by renewable energy.

Ammonia production is already crucial for 50% of the world’s food production, but current techniques emit megatons of CO2,” says Tom Shields, Partner at AgFunder. Nium’s revo­lu­tionary technology produces emission-free green ammonia, both as a feedstock for our food and an enabler for the hydrogen economy.”

Nium is also on mission to use their novel nanotech­nology to accelerate the hydrogen transition, shorten supply chains, and abate industrial emissions at global scale.

Nium’s Green Ammonia on Demand’ system offers a cost effective storage and transport vector for hydrogen players while unlocking access to growing markets for green ammonia as a clean energy carrier, clean fertiliser feedstock and zero carbon fuel.

Today the tomatoes from our super­mar­kets are typically grown with ammonia fertilisers, made by burning fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are burned again to ship the tomatoes to the super­mar­kets. And we burn fossil fuels yet again to cook them” Said Lewis Jenkins, CEO and cofounder of Nium

Nium has the potential to eliminate emissions at every stage of this process. Removing Haber-Bosch from our lives would reduce the 500 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (MtCO₂) from ammonia production each year. Nium’s technology can also help unlock a potential 700 MtCO₂ from transport as zero carbon ammonia replaces the literal bottom of the barrel’ for fossil bunker fuel in maritime shipping and other industrial applications.

There is also an immediate opportunity for ammonia as a hydrogen energy carrier. Green Ammonia on Demand delivers on hydrogen’s promise as a vector for renewable energy and a viable alternative to fossil fuels.”

Nium was founded last summer in Cambridge, England by an entre­pre­neur, a nanosci­en­tist and a former race car engineer. The three met during Carbon13’s venture builder for the climate emergency, forming Nium around a common goal of eliminating emissions at scale.

The technology follows 3 years of research and development by Nium’s CTO, Dr Yubiao Niu with Swansea University at Diamond Light Source. He was then joined by COO, Phil Hunter at the UK Synchrotron Facility, The Research Complex at Harwell, Oxfordshire and the UK Catalysis Hub. Nium has been supported by The Greenhouse at Imperial College and the Grantham Institute, The BMW Foundation Respond Program, Octopus Ventures, with transaction support from Goodwin and Burges-Salmon, and a year of intense testing and iteration at labo­ra­to­ries around the UK as the three founders proved the technology at growing scale.

About Nium

Nium uses nanotech­nology to decarbonise chemistry, deliver energy and eliminate emissions. They’ve started with the most polluting chemical industrial process on this planet: ammonia production.

About Agfunder

Agfunder invests in bold and impactful tech­nolo­gies rapidly trans­forming our food and agriculture system.

About DCVC

DCVC backs entre­pre­neurs solving trillion-dollar problems to multiply the benefits of capitalism for everyone while reducing its costs.