New reactor enables efficient production of hydrogen from wood waste

A team of researchers has developed a concept for a new reactor in which hydrogen is produced from wood waste more efficiently than using existing technologies.

Production Efficiency in Economics

Hydrogen fuel is a promising source of energy for the future, and is already starting to be used in various industrial processes. Despite huge reserves  hydrogen on Earth, almost all of it is in a bound form, for example, in the composition of water molecules or hydrocarbons.

Previously, hydrogen was usually obtained from fossil fuels by converting natural gas, but in recent years there has been an increasing focus on alternative feedstocks such as wood, sewage sludge and organic waste. The disadvantage of such sources is the need for complex cleaning with high energy consumption..

Recently, researchers from the European design consortium ROMEO presented a design for a reactor type «2 in 1», in which the production and reduction of hydrogen is carried out in one step, thanks to special membranes and a homogeneous catalyst. The gas-liquid reaction realized in it provides a high production rate even at a relatively low temperature (about 120 °C instead of 500 °C). In this case, carbon dioxide is continuously separated by a special separating membrane.

New reactor enables efficient production of hydrogen from wood waste

When wood waste and biomass were used as raw materials for gas synthesis.

According to the developers, the optimization of the reactor made it possible to significantly increase the production efficiency, in comparison with the technologies used today. In particular, power consumption decreased by 15%, and the amount of emissions – 40% at high performance levels.

However, the project is still at an early stage of development and further developments will be required for industrial applications. The European Union has allocated 6 million euros for continuation of research.

We also previously reported on the development of a new method electrolysis of water, doubling hydrogen production efficiency.

text: Ilya Bauer, photo: arpal

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