March 27, 2024
Rebekah Huber
Alternative Energy Materials Awarded $200,000 Evergreen Manufacturing Growth Grant from Department of Commerce

Port of Whitman County submitted top application for funding

PULLMAN — Today, the Washington State Department of Commerce announced the 2024 awardees of its Evergreen Growth Manufacturing grants program, awarding Alternative Energy Materials (AEM), a Whitman County clean hydrogen start-up, with $200,000 toward pilot-scale facility development.

The Evergreen Manufacturing Growth grants program aims to increase manufacturing and research & development jobs statewide through funding cutting-edge development work and substantial business expansions. Interested businesses submitted applications to their region’s Associate Development Organization (ADO), a designation the Port of Whitman County received in 2023. ADOs then submitted one business’s application to Commerce for funding consideration. 

“Whitman County currently lacks adequate facilities for researchers to pilot-scale engineering projects in areas such as bioproducts, hydrogen technology, and biofuels,” Port Executive Director Kara Riebold said. “We identified AEM as the top local application for Whitman County and are excited that the Department of Commerce is supporting their facility development. Companies like AEM are critical to diversifying our area’s economy through their innovations and job creation.” 

In January 2024, AEM founder and chief engineer Dr. Dustin McLarty presented at a Port Economic Development Informational Meeting, highlighting AEM’s ongoing work. AEM is currently developing a facility in Pullman to scale and prototype VYZion, a clean hydrogen electrolyzer technology. This technology converts renewable electricity into clean fuels and green products in an ultra-compact solid-state system, increasing its energy value over sevenfold. In the next several years, AEM anticipates adding 60 additional jobs to Whitman County. 

"AEM is excited to work with the Port of Whitman County to expand manufacturing capacity for advanced ceramic electrolyzers that use renewable power to make carbon neutral fuels and fertilizers,” Dr. McLarty said. “This grant will support facilities that can employ additional engineers and material scientists working to make a clean energy future.” 



About the Port of Whitman County

The Port of Whitman County is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all citizens of Whitman County through industrial real estate development, preservation of multimodal transportation, facilitation of economic development and provision of on-water recreational opportunities.