Imperial College London

Fuel cell startup powers to £5m Series A funding

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A Bramble Energy fuel cell

Bramble Energy, a hydrogen fuel cell startup from Imperial College London and University College London, has raised a £5m Series A investment.

Bramble Energy – the world’s most scalable hydrogen fuel cell company – has developed unique, proprietary technology capable of producing gigawatts of hydrogen fuel cells using existing global manufacturing resources. The company was founded in 2016 based on research by Professor Anthony Kucernak (Department of Chemistry) and Professor Dan Brett from University College London.

Reduced time to market

Hydrogen fuel cells generate electric power from an electrochemical reaction, rather than combustion. This eliminates carbon emissions from the power unit. Only water and heat are produced as by-products. In short, hydrogen fuel cells represent a key component of the world’s transition to a low-carbon economy.

However, production of hydrogen fuel cells is presently hampered by manufacturing costs, difficulty scaling production, up-front capital expenditure requirements and long lead times.

Bramble Energy has created a patent-protected fuel cell that can be manufactured in almost all printed circuit board (PCB) factories worldwide. It therefore dramatically reduces time to market and up-front investment required versus existing fuel cell designs, solving key challenges and driving the adoption of hydrogen fuel cells. Hydrogen has been recognised as an essential component of the mix of global efforts required to move towards net-zero emissions; notably, the European Union adopted its own major Hydrogen Strategy in July 2020.

Progress to date

Bramble Energy has made substantial progress since formation and is now testing its products with BOC/Linde (the UK’s largest industrial hydrogen producer) to supply its Hymera product range.

This investment round was led by BGF, joined by existing investors including IP Group, Parkwalk Advisors and UCL Technology Fund.

This £5m Series A round will support the launch of Bramble Energy’s portable power product range. The initial product launch will be a low-cost, flexible, 20W unit, followed by 60W and 100W versions, that are zero-emissions replacements for diesel generator technologies. Bramble Energy is also developing high power density, liquid-cooled fuel cell systems for mobile applications, using the same scalable low-cost technology platform.

Professor Anthony Kucernak, CSO and co-founder of Bramble, and Professor of Physical Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry at Imperial College London, said: "It is incredibly satisfying to be able to take something from the laboratory and scale it up to the point where it can make a real world difference. The ability to introduce low-cost fuel cells which can make use of hydrogen from renewable sources is a real game changer and will hasten the transition to a low-carbon future."

Dr Tom Mason, co-founder and CEO at Bramble said: “This is a hugely exciting time for Bramble Energy, with many eyes focused on the UK’s leadership role in the transition to a greener economy. We are solving some of the greatest barriers to the adoption of fuel cells – through our ground-breaking manufacturing route, scale-up potential and low-cost production. 

“BGF understands our mission, culture and technical capabilities. We are pleased to have them on board, backing our growth and expansion at a critical juncture for the business.”

George Mills at BGF said: “Bramble has created a world-first in the production of hydrogen fuel cells, with the potential to transform a global and growing market. Critically, Bramble has inherent scale-up potential with fuel cells that can be made in PCB factories around the world. BGF is backing a pioneering team with significant commercial acumen. As the UK advances towards its greener future, the cleantech industry is one of increasing interest to BGF, with our capital and financial firepower designed to help accelerate growth and provide long-term partnerships.”

Reporter

Gavin Reed

Gavin Reed
Enterprise

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