Energy start-up C-Zero Inc.’s promise to commercially scale carbon-free hydrogen production using natural gas has drawn investments from commodity trading giants through a recent financing round.


The California-based company’s latest funding round, completed for $34 million, was led by SK Gas Co., a subsidiary of South Korea’s SK Group. Engie New Ventures, the venture capital arm of Engie SA, and commodity trading giant Trafigura Group Pte. Ltd also participated.

C-Zero executives said the latest injection of capital brings it closer to constructing a pilot plant that could become operational by early 2023.

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The facility would use...