A Milwaukee startup developing devices to make climate-friendly industrial production more affordable has raised $4.2 million to pilot its technology and grow its team, the company said Thursday.

Advanced Ionics is developing industrial electrolyzers that produce hydrogen — a key component of materials like metal, glass and plastic — in a way it says is more sustainable and costs less than the current fossil fuel-derived hydrogen.

“Most of the everyday items we use have had hydrogen used to produce them,” Advanced Ionics founder and CEO Chad Mason said. “Hydrogen is a very, very large emitter of carbon dioxide, so in order to decarbonize everything in the world we see, we have to decarbonize hydrogen, and you do that with electrolysis.”

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