The US Department of Energy (DoE) has announced $2 million in funding to support the research and development of clean hydrogen production technologies.
Some four R&D projects will benefit from the funding as part of efforts by the Biden administration to meet its climate change goals.
Natural gas is currently the main source for hydrogen production by industrial facilities in the US.
Researchers will use this opportunity from DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy funding to explore new clean measures such as co-gasification to produce hydrogen.
Co-gasification blends waste from biomass, plastic, and coal feed stocks with oxygen and steam under high pressures and temperatures, which has the potential to produce cleaner hydrogen. When combined with carbon capture and storage, this process may even lead to net-negative emissions.
Participating projects will focus on prioritising sustainable feedstocks such as waste from forestry or agriculture in producing hydrogen.
- Auburn University (Auburn, AL) plans to study the gasification performance of select feedstock mixtures in a laboratory-scale fluidized-bed gasifier. Award amount is $499,485.
- Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (Palo Alto, CA) plans to perform testing of a moving-bed gasifier using coal, biomass, and waste plastic blends to generate clean hydrogen. Award amount is $500,002.
- University of Kentucky Research Foundation (Lexington, KY) plans to develop and study a coal, biomass, and plastic blend fuel by producing hydrophobic layer encapsulated biomass suitable for slurry, conducting lab-scale kinetic and gasification studies on the feedstock blend, and demonstrating practical operations in a commercially relevant 1 ton/day entrained flow gasifier. Award amount is $500,000.
- University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT) plans to leverage a high-pressure, slurry-fed, oxygen-blown entrained-flow system to enable co-gasification of biomass and waste plastic by creating slurries of coal, biomass pyrolysis liquids, and liquefied plastic oil. Award amount is $500,000.
Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm, said: “One of the important ways to achieve net-zero carbon emissions is to find innovative approaches to create clean sources of energy like hydrogen.
“With these awards, we’re leaning on some of America’s most brilliant minds to turn these ideas into real solutions – at the same time creating clean energy jobs and reducing pollution in the air we breathe.”
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, adds:“The University of Kentucky continues exploring the future of energy production to encourage cutting-edge job growth in our Commonwealth. I’m proud to support UK’s innovative pilot program and our coal communities.
“Kentucky remains at the center of coal research and technology, tapping into our high-skilled workforce and natural resources. I’ll keep working to deliver federal funding for ongoing fossil energy research programs in Kentucky.”