Researchers from the Indian Institute for Science (IISc), Bengaluru have developed a new technique to extract hydrogen from biomass.
What’s it about: Biomass is a renewable energy source. The process of extracting hydrogen from biomass follows two steps.
- First, the biomass is converted into syngas, a hydrogen-rich fuel gas mixture. It’s done in a reactor using oxygen and steam. Next, pure hydrogen is generated from the syngas using a low-pressure gas separation unit.
This technique produces 100 grams of hydrogen from a kg of biomass. It’s remarkable because a kg of biomass only contains about 60 grams of hydrogen. What’s special about this technique is that the steam, which also has hydrogen, reacts homogeneously and heterogeneously.
Big picture: The technique is carbon negative, so it’s environmentally friendly. The technology is also in line with the National Hydrogen Energy Roadmap that the Central government wants to promote. The government wants to push the use of hydrogen as fuel, and this is a step in the right direction.