Researchers identify clean hydrogen production source

Hydrogen image

Researchers at the Monash University Department of Chemical Engineering, IITB-Monash Research Academy Mumbai and The Indian Institute of Technology’s Department of Chemical Engineering have used reactive flash volatilisation (RFV) gasification technology to produce hydrogen using microalgae, giving rise to newer and cleaner forms of energy.

Findings show the greenhouse gas emissions of hydrogen production using RFV on microalgae is 36 per cent less compared to the steam reforming of methane gas – the current best practice for hydrogen production.

With additional renewable energy processes integrated with the researchers’ hydrogen production process, carbon emissions could drop by as much as 87 per cent.

“Microalgae as a feedstock is attractive due to its high carbon dioxide fixation efficiency, growth rate, photosynthetic efficiency, ability to grow in brackish water – like rivers and lakes – and the ability to cultivate it on land not suitable for agriculture,” said Monash Associate Professor Akshat Tanksale.

“Water and renewable electricity integration with microalgae harvesting can bring down the costs and increase the sustainability of hydrogen production from this process.”

Researchers performed the RFV of microalgae using temperatures ranging from 550-650°C using steam as the gasifying agent.

This meant the dewatering or drying of microalgae wasn’t required and significantly reduced energy consumption.

Click here to read the full research report.

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