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Hydrogen from organic waste process moves closer to commercialisation

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A promising research project that features a process to create hydrogen from organic waste has won £220,000 of funding through the UK Government’s Hydrogen BECCS Innovation Programme. 

Led by Professor Davide Dionisi from the University of Aberdeen’s School of Engineering, the project will enable research that could see the organic matter in food waste, manure, wastewaters and other biodegradable wastes converted to hydrogen and used to power homes and businesses on a commercial scale. 

An innovative process will be adopted, consisting of four main reaction stages – dark fermentation, anaerobic digestion, plasma reforming and steam gasification. By scaling up and integrating these four stages, the researchers aim to maximise the hydrogen yield from organic waste.

Professor Dionisi, a renowned specialist in biomass research, said:

“Hydrogen is a key energy vector in the energy transition, and generating hydrogen from organic waste would achieve the combined benefits of reducing environmental pollution and of generating green sustainable energy.

“So far there is no commercial process that produces hydrogen from organic waste, but our proposed process combines waste treatment with energy generation and can be entirely powered from renewable electricity, thereby providing a more sustainable alternative to other processes for hydrogen production from non-renewable and renewable resources.”

“I am delighted that our research has been recognised by the UK Government as being among the most promising in the UK in terms of delivering a sustainable hydrogen-producing process at a commercial scale.”

As reported last week, this project is one of several sharing a £5 million fund to help develop technologies that can produce hydrogen from sustainable biomass and waste, as part of the country’s drive to achieve Net Zero emissions. The full list of winners is available to view on the Government’s website

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