Decarbonizing Natural Gas

Unlocking the zero-emission energy embedded in natural gas.


C-Zero is a hard-tech startup whose mission is to decarbonize natural gas. C-Zero’s technology, which was initially developed at the University of California Santa Barbara, uses high temperatures to split methane - the primary molecule in natural gas and renewable natural gas- into hydrogen and solid carbon in a process known as methane pyrolysis. C-Zero’s hydrogen can be used to decarbonize a wide range of industries including ammonia production, gasoline and diesel fuel, electric generation, process heat, and fuel cell vehicles.

Making an Impact

C-Zero’s team of scientists, engineers and chemical process development experts are dedicated to tackling the challenge of eliminating CO2 emissions from natural gas use. C-Zero’s team combines a deep understanding of thermocatalysis with decades of experience in building some of the world's largest chemical plants.


Realizing the vision

per MJ compared to electrolysis
Amount of H2 produced
when starting with renewable natural gas
10 kgCO2/kg H2
Amount of CO2 removed from atmosphere
vs CO2 sequestration
Density of solid carbon sequestration
<2 $/kg H2 cost
that has the potential to be zero emission
Fraction of the energy in natural gas
equivalent of 1kg of solid carbon
in a Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV)
4.5 kg of H2
Amount of hydrogen needed to drive from Rome to Mi

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Technological challenge

In order to access the zero-emission energy in natural gas, C-Zero uses a process called methane pyrolysis which breaks methane down into hydrogen and solid carbon. This allows for 60% of the energy in natural gas to be used without generating any CO2 emissions - a process which has the potential to decarbonize more than 25% of the world’s energy. C-Zero’s approach to methane pyrolysis is to use high temperature thermocatalytic liquids to break the chemical bonds in hydrocarbons.

Although hydrogen accounts for 60% of the energy in natural gas, it comprises just 25% of the mass with the remainder being solid carbon. For this reason, C-Zero’s focus has been the generation of clean, separable carbon that can be easily removed from the reactor and packaged for sequestration.


A quarter of the world’s energy comes from natural gas; enabling its continued use without emitting carbon dioxide is critical to the rapid decarbonization we need to mitigate climate change. C-Zero is focused on making that a reality.

Eric McFarland, Chief Technology Officer at C-Zero