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SANTA FE, N.M. — An Australia-based company plans to build a campus in New Mexico to expand its research into hydrogen fuel as a heat source for industry, touting a proprietary chemical process without greenhouse gas emissions.

Hydrogen-technology research and developer Star Scientific Limited, which has around 20 employees, signed a letter of intent with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham while she was in Sydney attending a summit Thursday on hydrogen and the energy sector.

Andrew Horvath, global group chairman at Star Scientific, said the new facilities in Albuquerque would scale up research and development of its hydrogen technology for generating heat.

“Our system doesn’t burn gas, it reacts the gas,” said Horvath, describing the proprietary technology in general terms only. “It creates an instantaneous reaction whereby you end up with the heat from the excitation energy from those atoms.”

Horvath said the company is developing a chemical catalyst system for use in combining hydrogen and oxygen to produce heat directly, with water as a byproduct. The system is different from hydrogen fuel cells that provide electricity, he said.