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Hydrogen from Biomass

 

Definition

Hydrogen as an energy carrier is considered as one of the solutions to the current energy challenge and represents one of the most promising ways for sustainable energy utilisation. However, renewable, CO2 neutral hydrogen production is very expencive, and most of the hydrogen produced and consumed today is still derived from fossile sources. The technology enables sustainable and efficient production of hydrogen from different biological feedstocks. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is seeking partners to licence and participate in further development of this novel technology for hydrogen production from biomass.

Hydrogen production from biomass is the only direct way to produce hydrogen from renewable energy without a major technology breakthrough. Glycerol is one example of biomass which can be utilised for producing hydrogen. The process opens opportunities to combine biofuel and hydrogen production by using crude glycerol, a by-product, from biodiesel production as feedstock for hydrogen production.

The technology is a one-step method for production of pure hydrogen from biomass by sorption enhanced steam reforming. This technology is wholly owned by NTNU and comprises (i) novel catalysts (ii) novel sorbents, and also (iii) a system for regeneration of the sorption material and catalyst which in all enables continuous production of CO2-neutral and sustainable hydrogen of very high purity (99 % H2 dry basis).

ADVANTAGES

• Sustainable, CO2 neutral hydrogen production
• Production of relatively pure hydrogen (99 % dry basis)
• Higher hydrogen yields in one single step
• Continuous production
• No need for shift reactors or CO2 absorption column
• Only traces of CO
• Lower working temperatures
• Autothermal process

The concepts have successfully been tested in a continous lab scale model on several different biological feedstocks. Nearly 100 % yield of hydrogen with purity over 99 % has been achieved in a single step. Studies on better tolerance using raw bioliquids is the current focus of the research. The process is also highly suitable for other feedstocks besides bioliquids, such as natural gas, multifuels and hydrocarbons in general. The overall goal is to commercialise this technology by involving industrial partners.

 

 

 

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