What is Ossus Bio?
Ossus was founded in 2017 by Suruchi Rao, Shanta Rao, and Kamar Suhail Basha. They are working on the green hydrogen space with its use of waste carbon in industrial effluents as the starting material for green hydrogen. They were bootstrapped until now.
They set up Hydrogen generating reactors at industry sites that produce effluent water and use that wastewater to generate Hydrogen. The moat here is the way they break down the wastewater into Hydrogen without using heavy/rare metals (in electrodes). This team has already set up a pilot project.
Rainmatter has invested along with lead investor (Gruhas). The funding raised will be used to accelerate the deployment of Ossus’s OB Hydracel across other sectors, including refining, foods, brewing, chemicals, and pharmaceutical industries, and produce 3-5 tons of green hydrogen each day before the end of the year.
How does Ossus work?
The start-up has developed an intelligent bioreactor, the OB HydraCel, which accesses carbon in the wastewater from process industries and supplies these industries with on-demand, on-site hydrogen gas. The interesting bit here is that if there are industries that generate more hydrogen than they can use, Ossus have offtake agreements to use that Hydrogen for other purposes. The output from the water used by reactors set up by Ossus can be resued for industrial processes again. For example, Tata steel’s water requirements are offset by reusing the water processed by Ossus reactors. The water out from reactors is called demineralized water.
Why did we invest?
Green hydrogen is still a nascent sector globally, with many foundational technologies still being experimented with. Ossus’s core IP finds roots in using microorganisms sourced directly from effluents as catalysts for green hydrogen production. Their efforts align with India’s call to indigenously produce 5MMT (million metric tonnes) of green hydrogen each year without importing foreign-made electrolysers before 2025.
With Ossusm we felt the team was quite savvy about this space. We met the team multiple times and they were really knowledgeable and had a lot of conviction that they can scale this business over the next 4-5 years. They had done tons of research and have lot of experts in terms of Hydrogen on the team. Given that a large part of emissions in India is due to energy consumption, and with industrial energy needs being larger, could be a great starting point to offset with green hydrogen.
With Hydrogen particularly, there is a lot of research on why it may work and there are publications on why it might not work. There are several challenges with transportation, storage etc, but with industrial usage of Hydrogen for high density heat, there are lot of experts who suggest that its a use case that might be a good use case to experiment and figure if there are issues that need to be fixed before this is mainstreamed.
Here is a video also that explains what they do.
Here is the announcement -