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Indian scientists develop eco-friendly method to produce hydrogen

Indian scientists develop eco-friendly method to produce hydrogen

New Delhi: Hydrogen is expected to be the main source of energy in the coming years. And scientists at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have found an environmentally-friendly way of producing hydrogen from biomass.

It could be a sustainable move for the energy sector considering biomass is available in abundance and is a renewable energy source.

India already uses nearly 50 lakh tonnes of hydrogen in various sectors but most of it comes from fossil fuels. Dasappa, a professor at IISc's Centre for Sustainable Technologies, said green hydrogen can be used in industries like the steel industry and agriculture.

In the steel industry, green hydrogen can play a role in decarbonising steel. In Agriculture, the same tech can be used to manufacture green fertilisers.

He added that a process called the steam methane reforming route is currently used to produce hydrogen. His team has designed a two-step process to extract "green hydrogen" from biomass.

In the first step, biomass will be converted into syngas in a reactor working on oxygen and steam. Syngas is a hydrogen-rich fuel gas mix. In the second step, a low-pressure gas separation unit will extract pure hydrogen from the mix.

Researchers said this process is highly efficient in generating green hydrogen. "One-kilogram biomass will produce 100 gms of hydrogen." In a typical case, only 60gms of hydrogen exist in 1 kg biomass. The other 40 gms of hydrogen comes from the steam.

Scientists added that the process is also carbon negative and creates two carbon-based by-products - solid carbon and carbon dioxide. The same technology can be used for methanol and ethanol production as well.

The project was backed by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and the Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India. The Indian Oil Corporation Limited supported the team in scaling up the technology and producing 0.25 tonnes of hydrogen per day, which is enough to power buses.

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TAGS:IIScgreen hydrogenIndian Institute of Science
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