Belfast based CATAGEN have successfully secured initial funding to produce green hydrogen and e-fuels more cost effectively than current methods, from the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) through its Net Zero Innovation Portfolio Low Carbon Hydrogen Supply 2 Competition. A successful outcome from the first phase of the project in 2022 will lead to an application into the second phase and the possible award of up to £12m further funding across the two projects. This is a UK wide competition.

CATAGEN, a spin-out from Queen’s University Belfast already sells its patented emissions testing services to global automotive manufacturers and is approved by the UK Vehicle Certification Agency and Europe’s Applus IDIADA. Its expertise in the mobility sector combined with its deep domain knowledge of global emissions regulatory standards has led the company to patent further technologies to reduce emissions in the race to Net Zero.

The funding awards are a potential game-changer for the company and for Northern Ireland, providing the opportunity to build a new green industry in the production of green hydrogen and e-fuels using CATAGEN’s novel and proprietary technology. 

The new projects combine CATAGEN’s core competencies, skilled team and patented recirculating gas reactor technology to produce green hydrogen and e-fuels more cost effectively than current methods. There are no electrolysers used in this process and CATAGEN’s Generator will produce green hydrogen with less energy input and at a lower cost to conventional methods, building on CATAGEN’s alternate supply chain.

CATAGEN’s proposed system will have high thermal inertia, meaning it will allow maximum energy use, even from fluctuating or intermittent renewable power supplies.  This means renewable energy can be better utilised for green hydrogen production and the cost of production further reduced. This disruptive technology is likely to yield economies of scale in the production of green hydrogen, providing energy security for the future.

CATAGEN received the second award to develop an E-fuel Generator which uses the Green Hydrogen from the first process combined with carbon capture technology to create an e-fuel – resulting in a carbon net-zero, hydrogen-based fuel which can be used to help decarbonise existing fleet and difficult sectors such as marine and aviation. This can also be used as a drop-in fuel for conventional engines. 

The Low Carbon Hydrogen Supply 2 Competition forms part of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, which aims to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative clean energy technologies and processes through the 2020s and 2030s.  As experts in recirculating gas reactor technology, CATAGEN is ideally placed to develop both technologies taking them through to production.

Energy Minister Greg Hands said:

“The UK is truly leading the world in hydrogen innovation thanks to the exciting efforts of companies like CATAGEN.  The government support which they have received today will help to boost the development of hydrogen as the clean, affordable, homegrown superfuel of the future.”

The UK government has identified Low Carbon Hydrogen as having an essential role to play in the deep decarbonisation of the UK economy, with potential to help decarbonise “hard to electrify” UK industrial sectors, and provide greener, flexible energy across heat, power, and transport. The UK’s geography, geology, infrastructure, and expertise make it particularly suited to rapidly developing a low carbon hydrogen economy, creating the potential to become a global leader on hydrogen.

Dr Andrew Woods, CEO and Co-Founder at CATAGEN said: 

“The purpose of CATAGEN is ‘to clean and decarbonise the air’ and we do that through our innovative net zero technologies. As a company we are powered by 100% renewable energy and have displaced over 1,235 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere through our current patented technology. The proposed new technology has the potential to produce Green Hydrogen with cost efficiencies and improved tolerance to wind turbine connection. Our proprietary toolset will contribute to net zero targets, the green industrial revolution and to the Northern Ireland economy, developing highly paid, highly skilled jobs and further support our supply chain in Northern Ireland”.  



Kwasi Kwarteng, Secretary of State for BEIS pictured with Dr Andrew Woods at the opening of CATAGEN’s Net Zero Technology Centre in November 2021


CATAGEN provides a range of emissions tests for aftertreatment systems to leading global auto and motorcycle companies, replicating what an engine can do for:
– Standard gasoline or diesel
– Hybrid powertrains
– E-Fuels, hydrogen combustion, biofuels, ethanol engines or natural gas engines

As aftertreatment emissions specialists CATAGEN are delivering advanced solutions that will have direct impact on our cities and air quality. Reducing tailpipe emissions remains one of the biggest challenges facing the global automotive industry.

Reaching a solution involves precision testing and we have unrivalled expertise through our research, software and patented testing technology. 

This expertise is now leading to the development of new Net Zero Technologies to further reduce emissions including the production of green hydrogen, e-fuels and a personalised emissions data platform that will track the emissions pollution created by a user’s vehicle.

For further information, please contact 

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy  

This funding has been made available from the government’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, which aims to support innovation in the supply of hydrogen. This competition looks to provide funding for projects that can help develop a wide range of innovative low-carbon hydrogen supply solutions.

Further information on the competition –