By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA
Edwards Deming, the world-renowned statistical process guru, once said, “Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.”
That’s certainly the reality that Johnson City-based One Scientific, Inc. has encountered as it advances its game-changing technology to harness hydrogen anywhere in the world where there is access to water and immediately generate electricity.
As noted in our initial article late last year on the start-up, One Scientific believes it has found a way to commercialize a 40-year old technology that had remained on the shelf for four decades due to safety concerns. Once those beliefs can be documented with solid data, the company expects to unleash a rapidly growing hydrogen economy.
“We now have in Johnson City the first version of our commercial product,” Jon Barnwell, Co-Founder and Vice President, told us recently. “We spent many hours designing it to house multiple technologies and have many more hours ahead of us to get to the final version.”
Those technologies include the core reactor doing the catalytic induced plasma phase electrolysis and a hydrogen fuel cell that will mate-up with the core reactor. Working together the proposed system eliminates the need for hydrogen transportation and storage or electricity transmission and distribution.
“We have the core reactor and it works,” Barnwell said. “We are developing the fuel cell.”
That’s good progress for a start-up that is mostly self-funded, but additional capital is clearly needed. Over the long-term, Barnwell and his partner, Founder and Inventor Michael Redwine, expect to fund the work through a combination of grants and private investments.
Regardless on the source of new funding, the One Scientific team knows it needs baseline efficiency data.
“Being a pre-revenue, high tech start-up, we need data to convince federal agencies like the Department of Energy (DOE) that we can do what we say we can do,” Barnwell says. That reality was reinforced by the reviewers’ comments on several applications that One Scientific has submitted to DOE.
“My takeaway was we are onto something big,” Barnwell said of the comments.
To secure the needed data, One Scientific has engaged the University of Kentucky’s Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER).
The Center has a rich history in fossil fuel research, not surprising given the coal economy of Kentucky in the past. Today, the Center conducts research in clean fuels and chemicals, biofuels and environmental catalysis, carbon materials, environmental remediation and restoration, electrochemicals, power generation, and utility fuels.
“CAER will do the analytical work to produce the baseline data,” he said. “We believe the data will cause heads to spin.”
That work is underway, so stay tuned for another update.