University of Chicago to partner on $1 billion MachH2 hub for clean hydrogen

Midwest Alliance for Clean Hydrogen selected to receive funding by U.S. Department of Energy to ramp up clean hydrogen production

The Midwest Alliance for Clean Hydrogen (MachH2), of which the University of Chicago is a member, is slated to receive up to $1 billion in funding to launch a new hub to increase the production and use of hydrogen as a significant clean fuel source.

The MachH2 hub is one of seven across the country slated to receive funding from the Department of Energy as authorized by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act in 2021. These hydrogen hubs seek to reduce CO2 emissions through the use of hydrogen in place of fossil fuels in industries in the region where decarbonization has been difficult to accomplish by other means—including glass production, oil refining, steel manufacturing, and heavy-duty transportation.

The resulting ecosystem is projected to produce three million metric tons of clean hydrogen annually while eliminating 25 million metric tons of end-use carbon dioxide emissions each year—a scale that will improve air quality and public health, achieve significant goals for sustainability, and advance the pursuit of environmental justice. Projects associated with MachH2 are also expected to create more than 13,000 jobs in the Midwest, along with significant economic benefits to the region.

UChicago is a partner in MachH2 along with Argonne National Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory operated by UChicago through UChicago Argonne, LLC; UChicago and Argonne are two of more than 70 academic institutions, corporations, professional organizations, and government offices who have partnered in MachH2.

A ‘tremendous investment’

As a MachH2 member, the University of Chicago is taking a leading role in spearheading inclusive entrepreneurship for vendors and contractors associated with the new clean hydrogen hub. UChicago will focus on providing resources and education to startups as a way to create jobs, attract investment to the region, and lower barriers to for small-to-medium-sized businesses to participate in the clean energy sector.

“This tremendous investment in the development of clean hydrogen is a vote of confidence in the passion for bold ideas that lives in the Midwest,” said Juan de Pablo, Executive Vice President for Science, Innovation, National Laboratories and Global Initiatives and the Liew Family Professor in Molecular Engineering at UChicago. “The University of Chicago is committed to helping startups and communities get a sound footing on the leading edge of clean technology. This opportunity from the Department of Energy demonstrates the strong impact that we will have in creating positive change.”

UChicago’s experience in nurturing startups and encouraging investment in underfinanced neighborhoods will be critical to ensuring minority-, woman-, veteran-, and disabled-owned enterprises throughout the Midwest benefit from the investment in clean hydrogen. The University of Chicago Booth School of Business is the top-ranked business school in the country, and the Polsky Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is a trailblazer in entrepreneurship education and training, launching over 300 companies, including Grubhub, Braintree/Venmo, and Simple Mills, that have raised more than $9.7 billion through funding and exits.

Argonne National Laboratory will also play a vital role in the success of the MachH2 hub, leveraging its world-class facilities and expertise to advance the hydrogen economy by providing deep expertise in the technology of clean hydrogen, assessing the effects of new technologies and programs, and partnering with regional organizations to create a positive impact in their communities.

More information is available at the MachH2 at the Midwest Alliance for Clean Hydrogen website (