#6. The future of green hydrogen

Episode Summary

In this episode I speak with the CEO of Modern Hydrogen, Tony Pan, about green hydrogen production and sequestering carbon in roads.

Episode Notes


Tony’s background- Stanford, Harvard, Goldman, Gates Foundation, WEF, Fellow/EIR, Modern Hydrogen

What made Tony want to start Modern Hydrogen and take on such an audacious task

What’s wrong with infrastructure and permitting today, in relation to our climate goals

What Modern Hydrogen Does today

Distributed Pyrolysis at the source

Built environment solutions- sequestering carbon in asphalt and the business round it

Potential for carbon negative hydrogen production

The changes we need to hit our climate goals


Episode Transcription

Tony, welcome to the show.
Tony: Thanks so much for having me.
Danny: Tony, your background is pretty incredible, especially for somebody as 
young as you are. Could [00:01:00] you give us kind of a roadmap of where you
were and over the past decade or so and how you came to found modern 
hydrogen today?
Tony: Oh, well, um, get embarrassed to talk about this, but in terms of 
experience and credentials, right? I'm on nerd bike training. So I went to school 
at Stanford for my physics degree and then to Harvard also for my physics PhD.
So uber nerd. Uh, in addition, uh, I have some finance experience at Goldman 
But primarily, my experience over the entire last decade has been in deep tech 
and clean energy. So I work with an incubator called the Invention Science 
Fund in Seattle to spin up my company, Modern Hydrogen, which is in a 
business of producing a new technology for decarbonization. Specifically, 
producing clean hydrogen by decarbonizing natural gas and removing the 
offending carbon atom.
Danny: And as far [00:02:00] as kind of starting modern hydrogen goes, um, 
what were the kind of seeds of the interest around that idea? How did it begin? 
And why did you want to take on such an audacious task?
Tony: So, really, in terms of personal motivation, I'm a big nature guy. Thanks. 
Natural conservation, biodiversity. You know those David Attenborough BBC 
documentaries about the natural world? That's close to my religion. I actually 
grew up, uh, like five years in Scotland. I grew up on that kind of stuff. And so 
I've always wanted to protect the planet, protect civilization, and climate change
seemed like a good way to enter the fight.
Now, specifically, why hydrogen? Why a deep technology clean tech startup? 
We believe it's going to take like a hundred solutions to tackle climate change, 
but here's the gist, right? We should do things like scale up solar and wind 
deployments as [00:03:00] much as possible. But, you don't really need 
someone with a PhD to do that anymore.


The solar panel technology that's cheap today, like, Polycrystalline silicon based
solar panels, they were invented like 50 years ago. The game now there is, 
frankly, even for the last 20 years, the game has entirely been dominated by 
China. Forgot how to manufacture these things cheaply. You don't really need 
technologists to get involved in doing the hard work that needs to be done there 
The game has changed. Where you do need technologists is in the hard to 
decarbonize sectors. So I think essentially there are many aspects of the 
economy where you cannot use a green electron directly. It's still actually the 
majority of the economy. Electrification won't work. And so it's in the context 
of that.
There's many situations where you still need like a molecule. Uh, like a fuel and
hydrogen is the holy grail fuel that burns without any CO2 emissions. And so 
those are [00:04:00] areas where new technologies can still make an impact. 
And so frankly, someone like me and my company can still make a useful, high 
leverage original contribution.
So that's really the logic. It's about decarbonizing the hard sectors to 
Danny: Let's talk a little bit about infrastructure and permitting and things like 
that. Could you tell us kind of what the issues are with, um, infrastructure and 
permitting as they stand today, kind of in relationship to the climate goals that 
we all have
Tony: Yeah, the news ain't pretty in most of the developed world, I'm sad to say
this, and unfortunately this is all over the news now because it's such a huge 
problem. To give you a sense of scale, let me talk outside of my own company's
products and just talk about a greater energy system to give folks a sense of how
bad things are.
There are approximately Depending on how you count it, 6 to 7 million miles 
[00:05:00] of electricity transmission and distribution gridlines in the country. It
took about a century to build. But nowadays, because of NIMBYism, And 
frankly, a lot of unhealthy lobbying by local towns to all the way to just 
unhelpful regulation.
We need to basically double or triple the capacity of the electricity grid to even 
do the obvious to electrify sectors. However, last year, there were, I think, less


than a few hundred miles of new transmission lines that were permitted. And 
each of those processes, like, they got approval after, like, a 15 year effort.
There were two major projects, each took 15 years to get the permit, which is 
catastrophic for the business case. And that was only, like, a few hundred miles 
compared to, like, the 7 million that we needed some help that were trouble. So,
yeah, at this point, I would [00:06:00] say... At least in the United States, 
permitting is the, essentially one of the largest issues as hoping, holding us back
from reducing like CO2 emissions.
Now sadly, again, I like to make a comparison with other countries. Most 
countries actually do have this problem. The USA is not unique, but this is that 
entirely human problem. It's not like a technology thing. Uh, it's about the 
willpower, political will, and people's acceptance of taking some trade offs in 
order to have your green energy transition.
Let's say a place like China does not have a permitting problem. They are able 
to build things very quickly. They're able to get their renewable resources up 
and online very, very quickly. So it's, of course, they have a dictatorship, so we 
shouldn't do all of that, but I think there's some middle ground that we probably 
need to think as a country on where we want to go.
Danny: and, but kind of before we dive into a little bit more about modern 
hydrogen, what are your thoughts around arguments [00:07:00] of You know, 
maybe if barriers to entry were lower for permitting and regulations, things 
would just totally go off the rails and we wouldn't accomplish any of these 
climate goals anyway, so we actually need regulations and permitting as strict 
as they are today.
What's, what's your argument for or against that?
Tony: Oh, regulation is entirely necessary, right? Like the, but the key thing is 
there is such a thing as overregulation. You're Like the, the, what's the fable? 
Like that the porridge is too hot, too cold, or just warm enough. I think we all 
understand 15 years to build up transmission lines that you need for solar 
electricity is probably incredibly stupid and particularly.
Even as a private sector business guy, I will say one of the challenges we face, 
it's like we need regulation or else capitalism doesn't work perfectly, right? You 
will hit the tragedy of the commons issue. It's actually one of the reasons why 
we have climate as a problem because everybody can use [00:08:00] the 
atmosphere as a giant dumping ground for CO2.


So obviously we need regulation, but over regulation is not necessarily that the 
rules are too strict. But there are too many rules and there is no single decision 
of the rules that helps you either like move on with your life or move forward 
with the project. That's the issue, right? Like if there were only like a few 
simple, even if there were harsh rules, if there are a few simple rules for 
companies to comply with, then at least there is certainty about what you need 
to do.
And businesses like that, what businesses hate. In terms of what's needed to 
build all this infrastructure we need for clean energy is uncertainty. That will 
slow down investment into green energy when there are so many rules, they're 
so poorly worded, and there's like hundreds of them on a book that you don't 
even know how to comply with them.
We'd rather just have a few rules, even if they are harsh. And more importantly, 
like have pretty strict decision timelines, right? Like, be harsh, but like, let us 
know the answer in [00:09:00] six months. Like, are, like, are we in or are we 
out? Then we can move on with life. We can problem solve around this. If a 
whole system takes like 10 or 15 years, uh, to, to fact, to figure out the factors, 
basically nothing can happen, right?
Like China stood up an entire car industry in just 10 years. And now they're the 
biggest car exporter in the world. So like if we can't move fast with clear rules, 
like we're screwed. 
Danny: So it seems like to two massive problems there. Um, and somebody 
like yourself has no, no limit on number of options. So why not just become a 
politician and try to solve those permitting issues versus starting modern 
Tony: if I had talent as a politician, which I don't, I think being, and for young 
people listening to this, right? Like. Frankly, a lot of these problems are political
in nature, and so we should see, like, serving in politics as a, as a higher calling. 
That's probably actually the biggest needle mover on the climate fight, honestly,
[00:10:00] but frankly, I mean, you pay attention to politics, I think it's pretty 
easy to get cynical about it.
So my approach with my skill set has been, I'll go to create the technology 
miracle to make green energy, cleaner energy, easy to adopt, to make it 
economical, and then people will go through it anyways. So I'm doing the end 
around because there is political quagmire. So I go and create the technology 
miracle, but if other people can create a political miracle, even better.


Danny: That's a good segue into what modern hydrogen does today. Could you 
give us a kind of overview of what the company does? Um, it's technology, the 
processes, all that jazz.
Tony: So we produce clean hydrogen. It's in the name, Modern Hydrogen. I 
know, engineers naming companies, so original, right? But basically, clean 
hydrogen is important, particularly because We need to decarbonize the 
commercial industrial sectors, which are [00:11:00] processes that are much 
harder to decarbonize. For example, let me give one example.
My favorite example to scare people is half the food we make requires synthetic
fertilizer. It's ammonia, NH3. And so the hydrogen in fertilizer today comes 
from fossil fuels. There's something called the Haber Bosch process, but 
essentially if we stop using fossil fuels to make hydrogen that goes into 
fertilizer today Like half of humanity will have to die and and that's a molecule, 
That's like a that's a chemical You can't electrify that like you're not eating 
electrons You're you're eating food. And so that's just like a tiny example of 
why we need clean hydrogen We are using this like let's say if you're making 
the most industrial processes that actually require very high temperature heat 
But to give you the visceral example, right?
You can just think to make metals You've probably seen photos and videos of a 
giant molten [00:12:00] vats of metal over a thousand Celsius That is not easy 
to electrify and therefore people burn fuels to generate some high quality heat 
They're burning fossil fuels. They would like to switch to a clean fuel and that's 
probably hydrogen And that's why commercial industrial sectors are looking on 
hydrogen for decarbonization.
So let's, I think I like to start with the why of why producing clean hydrogen is 
important. Now specifically to what modern hydrogen does. We produce clean 
hydrogen at the point of use by decarbonizing natural gas. There's two things 
embedded in there. So hydrogen is this holy grail fuel that could help us 
decarbonize a lot of sectors.
Unfortunately, hydrogen is the lightest element in the universe, which means it's
a very small atom and it's not very dense. And that means hydrogen is uniquely 
hard to transport. Like, if you put the same size tank of hydrogen versus the 
same size tank of gasoline, [00:13:00] the hydrogen tank has only about 10 
percent of the energy.


Because, again, this is a very small, lightweight molecule. It's just not very 
dense. And if you try to push hydrogen through a normal gas pipeline, Uh, if it's
at high pressure, it will literally, some hydrogen atoms will leak out of the, of 
the, like it will pass through solid walls because it's so tiny. Uh, and at high 
pressure, it will push itself out of solid walls.
So you can't just flow this through a regular, like, pipeline infrastructure today. 
So, we are very focused on producing hydrogen on sites directly where the 
customer is. So that I think this is distributed hydrogen generation. It's like 
analogous to like the solar panels on your roof Except like this is not for 
residential but the spirit is the same produce the hydrogen locally so that it can 
immediately be used and Therefore you will not require any new hydrogen 
infrastructure, right?
We are doing this because we're essentially decarbonizing natural gas 
[00:14:00] Natural gas is CH4, so it's 80 percent hydrogen, and there are 3 
million miles of natural gas pipelines in the USA alone. So most customers, 
especially the commercial industrial customers, We already have natural gas on 
site. So if we just turn that natural gas into clean hydrogen and lock away the 
carbon at a point of use, no new hydrogen pipelines need to be built.
And have you heard like analogy, right? Like good luck trying to build 3 
million new, 3 million miles of new hydrogen pipelines in this country. 
Probably going to take longer than a century and cost a trillion dollars. And then
by that time, the globe will be like 4 Celsius and it's too late. So, our solution 
really allows you to scale over infrastructure.
We're leveraging the existing backbone infrastructure, taking a natural gas that's
already been delivered to customers, and just stripping out the offending carbon 
at the very end. And that's how we get clean hydrogen.
Danny: And is that process the [00:15:00] distributed pyrolysis process that you
spoke about when we talked originally?
Tony: Exactly. So pyrolysis just means heating something up to high 
temperatures without the presence of oxygen. When you do that to CH4, the 
molecule itself will crack, and you're left with actually solid carbon, which is a 
useful material, and then clean hydrogen, which you can use now as a clean 
energy fuel.
Danny: And I think, you know, pyrolysis is very, it seems to be all over the 
news these days in the climate tech space. Um, I don't think a lot of people


understand how it actually works. You're like, yeah, heat, heat something up 
without the use of oxygen. Sounds great. Could you describe that in a little bit 
more technical language?
How does that actually occur?
Tony: Yeah, so specifically, if you put natural gas in some kind of chamber 
where there is no air, no oxygen for it to combust with, and then you heat it to 
high temperatures, It's something called the endothermic reaction, but 
essentially it takes in a little [00:16:00] bit of heat that allows the molecule itself
to break apart and you're left with like literally atomic carbon, the carbon atom, 
and then also the hydrogen molecules like H2.
And so the key thing is that you need to do this. Without oxygen or else 
everything will burn, but more importantly, it requires pretty high temperatures. 
It depends on whether you use a catalyst or not, but essentially I think you're 
talking about approximately 1000 Celsius. And so this is why this is hard.
It's essentially like a high temperature chemical process.
Danny: So it sounds like and correct me if I'm wrong, but you're breaking these
two pieces apart. The clean hydrogen that you're pulling out of the natural gas is
then recycled back into the system as fuel for the CNI or whatever its source is 
coming from. Is that correct?
Tony: Yeah, basically. So the hydrogen now can be used as fuel, whether it's at,
uh, Industrial [00:17:00] high grade furnace to melt metal, whether it's being 
used in a hydrogen refueling station for your hydrogen long haul trucks, 
whether it's making a refueling station for actually hydrogen planes that people 
are developing, or even hydrogen flowing into like a on site fuel cell for 
completely zero emissions.
Uh, par generation. Again, people call hydrogen the Swiss army knife of 
decarbonization. Our job is to make the box that makes the hydrogen fuel.
Danny: Let's talk about the carbon side of it. Then, um, just as some 
background, do you know roughly what CNI makes up in the global emissions 
as a percentage?
Tony: it kind of depends on how you count it, but 40 percent.
Danny: That's a huge number.


Tony: Yeah, yeah, the supportive of people putting solar panels on the roof, 
buying that electric panel, but like, honestly, the industrial economy is one of 
the big, like, the big Big elephant in the room, right? Like, and it's not just 
energy. I think people [00:18:00] forget about the fact that, uh, even in building 
stuff, right?
Like if you're making concrete that emits a lot of CO2, steel, making steel emits
a lot of CO2. So it's not even just energy use that you can relate to in your 
home. It's like making everything in human civilization. Plastic is literally made
of fossil fuels, the, the, the, the atoms itself come from, from like oil in the 
So yeah, industrial decarbonization is very important. Planes are only like 2 
percent or 3 percent compared to the boarding.
Danny: certainly. So it's so it's a mat. It sounds like a massive lever that we can 
pull. And it sounds like obviously the clean hydrogen is credible as a fuel 
source. But then the sequestration of carbon. So, um, you spin off hydrogen spin
off carbon. Um, what do you do on the carbon side of things? Tell us a little bit 
more about that.
Tony: Uh, that's the beauty of this process. I'm very glad you asked. So our 
company mission is to make energy both cleaner and [00:19:00] cheaper. So the
economics part is always, I think, the challenging thing with, uh, green energy. 
It's a new entrant, it doesn't have economies of scale. How can it compete with 
the fossil fuel industry that is 150 years old, right?
Well, the beauty about this way of generating clean hydrogen is that the 
byproduct is actually a material called carbon black, which is a known 
commodity material for over a hundred years. And so again, people need to 
build stuff for the economy and they need to use like solid materials. Carbon 
black is already a material that's used in everything from asphalt to rubber to 
And specifically, this is the difference between making a useful material versus 
making a CO2. So today, if you burn the fossil fuel and created both the, like 
created emissions, right? In principle, and people are doing this, in principle, 
you can capture the CO2. and puts it underneath [00:20:00] the ground. And in 
fact, with the Inflation Reduction Act climate bill that just passed, you can get 
paid about like 85 bucks.


Per ton of CO two that you've captured and injected into the ground to be 
sequestered. Now, this is not easy, right? This is essentially a waste product 
you're spending money to get rid of. And so CO two is a gas. So you can 
imagine how challenging it is to transport CO two and push this gas down into 
ground and then make sure it doesn't bubble up again, and it's guess it wants to 
bubble back up.
So this costs a lot of money, and it's hard to deal with, and the government is 
paying you, uh, purely from a subsidy standpoint of less than a hundred dollars 
per ton of CO2. On the other hand, the carbon black that we're producing, for 
our customers, that's nothing to do with clean energy, green energy, they're not 
doing this out of the goodness of their heart.
But carbon black is typically sold between 500 to 1, 500 per ton. So on average,
10 times more [00:21:00] than the government credits. And like, we're not 
counting on a government subsidy here, uh, even though we're like sequestering
carbon, but like that material is just that valuable for the economy. And so that's
sort of the beauty of this process, right?
It's intrinsically economically advantageous. Uh, because people want the 
carbon, it's a useful material and are paying way more for it than they would 
ever pay for a CO2 credit. And then of course, right, and then the hydrogen, that
means our total economics is good and therefore we can offer the clean 
hydrogen also as an affordable price.
Danny: So what are people buying carbon black for then?
Tony: So for our company, we are targeting roads. So we've already 
sequestered our carbon and roads in five U. S. states. California, Oregon, 
Washington State, Texas, and Florida, and in addition also in Canada. And you 
know how roads are black? It's because asphalt has high carbon content, right? 
You know carbon, the color of coal, it's black.
Carbon, carbon is black. And that's why roads are black. It's high [00:22:00] 
carbon. So, and you can just see, right, like there's a lot of road all over the 
world. There are, this is a massive volume market. They're, they can absorb a lot
of carbon, so we're not, you don't even have to think about putting CO2 into 
weird oil wells in, in the Gulf Coast, uh, with roads, right?
You can sequester this carbon locally, everywhere. There are roads everywhere.
And so basically we're selling our carbon for money and it's getting put into the 
asphalt that is in our built environment


Danny: When we talk about sequestration, one question of durability is very 
important. Um, do you have a sense of how durable the sequestration is in roads
over time?
Tony: at least a thousand years, right? It's a solid and it's locked in a material. 
Uh, it's. Unless you take a blowtorch to it, it's not going to turn into CO2.
Danny: Yeah, that's that's incredible. And I think one thing we also didn't 
[00:23:00] mention is for people wanting to inject CO2 captured CO2 into 
grounds. I mean, they're not even issuing permits for wells to be drilled for this. 
I think one in the U. S. has ever been even issued a classics. Well, so that's it. 
People have a lot of great thoughts around that, but it's currently not even 
doable from a regulatory standpoint.
Is that what you're hearing as well from injection
Tony: Yeah, that's right. Again, if you're trying to stand up a new project with 
new technology for CO2 capture and sequestration, Oh, like I, I fully love the 
people who are trying to do that. I think it's very important. We're going to need
a hundred solutions, but it's just going to take a long time, right?
Unless... Some magic political thing happens. And even then, at least wells 
cannot be drilled everywhere, right? You actually need a special geological 
formation to make sure your CO2 can actually stay in the ground. So there's just
some limits of how much you can do versus, again, for solid carbon, sell it for 
money, and then where you have roads, you can do this.[00:24:00] 
Danny: And then let's talk about, um, kind of carbon negative hydrogen, 
hydrogen production. Could you tell us a little bit about, um, how that looks in 
the grand scope of what you're doing?
Tony: Oh, thank you, Danny. Uh, very glad you asked this. I am unnaturally 
excited about this. Even though I think this is going to be a smaller revenue 
stream for our company, we're pushing ahead to do this because I think it is 
essential for saving the climate. So, long story short, if you pair our technology 
with biogas, so biogas is essentially like methane, CH4, that came from a 
biological source.
So think the grass... It's absorbed CO2 from the atmosphere, so it's capturing 
CO2 from the atmosphere, and then the grass is eaten by a cow, and then the 
cow, you know, poops, and then you re recover biogas from it. Then, the biogas


itself is already [00:25:00] carbon neutral, because the carbon from it came 
from CO2 absorption in the atmosphere.
Now today, typically most people just burn the biogas and the CO2 gets 
released back in the atmosphere, so again, it's net neutral because the CO2 
initially came from the atmosphere anyway. But now if you pair our technology 
into the middle to intervene, then we break the biogas apart, CH4, again into 
hydrogen and solid carbon, then we can sequester the carbon in the ground and 
the whole thing becomes negative CO2 emissions.
The whole thing is now equivalent to capturing CO2 from the atmosphere and 
putting the carbon, locking it back in the ground. So you're actually repairing 
the atmosphere. Again, you are repairing the atmosphere with this process. And 
frankly, again, this may be a little bit too numerical, technological, and 
pessimistic because of that.
But if you look at the Paris Climate Accords, they basically already admit that, 
you know what? Even if we decarbonize now, with all our commitments on the 
[00:26:00] books, it's too late. So in the Paris Agreements, look at the language. 
They say basically, after 2050, we will magically pull atmospheric CO2 back 
out of the atmosphere.
And that's how we actually meet 1. Celsius. We are going to have to somehow 
pull all the CO2 we've already dumped in the atmosphere and put it back in the 
ground. So the politician just said, we're going to do that in 2050, leave the 
problem for our grandchildren, and no one knows how you actually do that, like
in a practical and economical way.
So this is one of the technology grand challenges, and I think our company, by 
doing biogas paired with pyrolysis, offers one of the most practical routes to 
doing this at scale. And yeah, so this is, this is why I'm excited about it. We, we 
have a project in Washington state doing exactly that. Literally cow poop.
Cow poop to sequestered carbon and clean hydrogen.
Danny: It's incredible. So what is the road map look like for modern hydrogen, 
say, over the next five years? And what are the most difficult things that you all 
will [00:27:00] encounter with scaling up?
Tony: So the plan's simple, right? Build more boxes and sell more boxes. The 
market size for this is humongous. Actually, we just had an all hands meeting 
internally to debate this. Uh, we're launching like three pilot. We have three


pilots of our initial version, and then we're, we've actually turned down four 
pilots of the initial versions.
So we initially had orders for like seven and we turned over half of them down 
so we can focus on building the next generation one that's going to, you know, 
bigger, better, more efficient. But right now, the demand for hydrogen at the 
band for our solution way exceeds our ability to supply. So the one, the thing 
that keeps me up at night, right, the challenge you're talking about, it's like 
manufacturing scale up.
It takes, again, a long time to build things with atoms. Uh, I often have software 
and maybe you build one code and then you can [00:28:00] just replicate over a 
million, right? The, the, the copying cost for software is like zero, but it is 
extremely challenging in technology and that's what we're facing. Uh, it's just 
going to take a lot of time, a lot of money for us to be able to build the machine 
that builds a lot of boxes.
I think Elon Musk said this once, right? Making the box that makes the box is 
harder than making the box.
Danny: It's so true. Now, some years back, you mentioned you were at that 
deep tech or hard tech accelerator. Um, you obviously chose modern hydrogen 
to move ahead with. What other technologies were proposed or were being 
worked on that also excites you?
Tony: Oh, there's so many. I have a soft spot for nuclear. This is another classic
regulation problem where Again, frankly, if we were sensible and, uh, and, uh, 
like, you ask any scientist or engineer, like 99. 9 percent of the time, they will 
be pro [00:29:00] nuclear, and it's kind of incredible how society generally is 
anti nuclear.
Uh, very bad propaganda from Godzilla, right? You know, like, even right now,
after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Which was like really bad. Nobody has 
died from the nuclear radiation. Zero. 20, 000 people died approximately from 
tsunami. Zero has from the nuclear radiation. So, I think folks think of radiation 
as a scary thing, but you go out and get a sunburn, that's radiation from the sun, 
I have a soft spot for nuclear technology. I'm not so optimistic in the United 
States because of, again, the regulation and permitting issues. It's so hard for the
industry. I love the folks who are working on that, but I probably, I think that


nuclear is probably going to find most of its markets across the rest of the world
because the US is overregulated.
But hey, decarbonizing the world is a very important thing. Most of the growth 
in emissions is going to come from the developing world. So frankly, it doesn't 
matter if Germany [00:30:00] decarbonizes. If China, India, and Africa 
decarbonize, we're screwed anyways. And nuclear might become important for 
that. Uh, many other technologies, oh my god.
Uh, I'm very excited by companies that are doing concrete decarbonization. So 
concrete, again, it both uses a lot of energy, uh, that is very CO2 intensive, 
because there's a step in concrete making that requires 1500 Celsius heat. But 
moreover, the chemical process of concrete itself emits CO2. So, again, it goes 
to things like, actually, like, you can't count, the game is not over with solar and 
Like, that's literally a chemical process. You can't put an electron into concrete. 
Like, that doesn't work. It's, it's, it's chemistry. So it emits CO2. But now there 
are lots of companies with brilliant new technologies to try to not only make 
concrete carbon neutral, but some folks have even figured out some chemical 
processes where you can sequester some CO2 into concrete.[00:31:00] 
So I think that field is exciting and it's like the CO2 from concrete is like much 
bigger than again I think the CO2 from concrete is bigger than all emissions 
from planes plus ships. It's crazy
Danny: Yeah, I believe that, uh, I believe that concrete is seven. I mean, 
concrete production would be probably within CNI, generally speaking, but I 
believe alone, it's roughly 7 percent of global emissions. Is that correct?
Tony: Yeah, that sounds about right and planes plus ships is only like 5 percent 
Danny: Yeah, it's it's so true. Um, well, we always have one final questions that
always is the same. It's what are you investing in that never changes? And as a 
couple of examples, so up where you are, obviously, Jeff Bezos with Amazon, 
what he invested in that never changes Fastest shipping times. People will never
want slower shipping times.
And they ran, uh, losses for 20 years to build the infrastructure for that. You 
mentioned Elon Musk. Uh, he [00:32:00] invested in sexy EVs. He knew that


people would always want good looking cars. What are you investing in at 
Modern Hydrogen that you believe will never change?
Tony: Economics we're very pragmatic or real politic. Again, the company 
mission is to make energy cleaner and cheaper. Uh, built that in from the get go.
I find it hard to think that we will achieve large scale decarbonization if the 
unit's economics do not look favorable, right? I think there's only so much 
willingness of the world to pay extra to decarbonize.
There's. Right, like maybe the Germans and people in San Francisco are rich 
enough. Most people can't afford it. Uh, I think the statistic is like one fifth of 
U. S. families are in such poverty that sometime in the last few years they have 
had to choose between their energy and food bill. One fifth in the [00:33:00] 
USA, probably the best economy in the world right now actually in terms of 
So yeah, good luck trying to push solutions. That did not look good for the 
wallet. So, right, like our company is kind of interesting since we're 
decarbonizing natural gas, right? Like we've decided to work with actually start 
with something that people would consider fossil fuel and remove the carbon 
from it so that it doesn't actually have CO2 emissions.
So in some sense, right? Like I, I, I know for a fact that for some like 
environmental hardcore environmentalists, our company fails a purity test. Of 
like, Hey, this stuff doesn't look like completely pure green by the perfect, 
perfect ivory tower. Keep your hands completely clean lens, but you know 
what, I know our, our, our solution is going to be economical and it's actually 
going to reduce CO2 pragmatically.
And so people will adopt it at scale. And so we will have a far [00:34:00] bigger
impact than most of our competitors. And so, yeah, the economics is what I 
focus on and that's why I talked about manufacturing, right? I think a lot about 
that. I worry about that. It's a challenge because, again, the goal is to make this 
thing really, really cheap.
Danny: Yeah, I
Tony: for one in Texas. Actually, we will have people in Texas. Like, they're 
going to adopt it, not because they believe in climate change, but because it's 
good business. And they will inadvertently save the climate at the same time.


Danny: I think that's when you know you've made it when the people that 
disagree with you are doing it just because they can't argue with it anymore.
Tony: That's right.
Danny: Well, Tony, thanks very much for coming on our show. If listeners are 
interested in learning more about what you're doing, where can I point them to 
Tony: Modernhydrogen. com or if you're interested in adopting our sequestered
carbon solution, basically make your roads cleaner by locking carbon inside it, 
go to modern asphalt. com.
Danny: Excellent. I will link to both of those in the show notes. Well, Tony, 
this was an [00:35:00] absolute pleasure. Thanks again for coming on.
Tony: Thank you so much, Danny.
Danny: And thanks to you, my dear listener, for tuning in, and I hope you 
enjoyed this conversation as much as I have. If you enjoyed the show, please 
consider subscribing and leaving a good review. Take care and see you soon.