Innovative And Sustainable New Method To Produce Hydrogen From Wastewater To Boost Global Hydrogen Market
Posted On December 11, 2020
Bio-solids are considered as the propelling force behind a sustainable new method for producing hydrogen from wastewater. Researchers have used bio-solids to create hydrogen from wastewater in new technology that supports the wide-ranging recycling of one of humanity’s unlimited resources, sewage.
At RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, the researchers developed this new technology by using a special material synthesized from bio-solids to ignite chemical reactions for generating hydrogen from biogas. In this method, all the materials required for producing hydrogen are sourced at a wastewater treatment plant without the use of any costly catalysts.
The method also entraps the carbon originates in biosolids and biogas, which may be future, leads to a zero-emission wastewater sector.
The existing commercial methods for producing hydrogen were emission and capital-intensive and relied heavily on natural gas.
This new alternative technology offers a cost-effective, sustainable, renewable, and efficient way to hydrogen productions.
To transition to a circular economy, there is a call for technology that allows us to compress the full value from resources that would usually go to waste—this new technology of producing hydrogen counts on the waste matters that are basically in unlimited supply.
The new technology has the potential to deliver a true environmental and economic win as it harnessing the power of biosolids to manufacture a fully clean fuel from biogas while at the same time prevent the emission of greenhouse gases. Biosolids are commonly used as fertilizer in agriculture, but over 30% of the global biosolids resource is sent to landfills, leading to a big environmental challenge. The wastewater sector is constantly seeing to create new methods to convert bio-solids into high-value products in an environmentally friendly manner.
How the new technology works
In the process, the biosolids are first converted to biochar. The biosolids-derived biochar comprises some heavy metals, making it a perfect catalyst for producing hydrogen out of biogas.
The researchers tested the process with a methane-rich gas that resembles biogas. They showed that biosolids' biochar is extremely effective for decomposing the gas into its carbon and hydrogen component elements.
The decomposition process is conducted in a specially designed and hyper-efficient reactor generating hydrogen and biochar coated with carbon nanomaterials.
The new hydrogen production method can also turn the carbon found in biogas and biosolids into advanced carbon nanomaterials.
The carbon nanomaterial coated biochar produced via a novel technique has a broad range of significant applications that include enhanced agricultural soils, environmental remediation, and energy storage.
The unique reactor developed by the RMIT School of Engineering team was another innovative recycling approach. It is the most energy-efficient reactor with highly optimized heat and mass integration in such a small and cost-effective package. It can also be used in wastewater treatment; the novel reactor has potential biomass, plastics, and coating industries.
The innovative emerging technology had the potential for adoption by the industry together with creating positive influence on Global hydrogen market.