The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, announced the development of new technology to produce green hydrogen from biomass. The technology is said to produce 100 grams of hydrogen from one kilogram of biomass.

The process consists of two steps. First, the biomass would be converted into syngas – a hydrogen-rich fuel gas mixture through a novel reactor using oxygen and steam.  And then, the pure hydrogen would be generated from syngas using an indigenously developed low-pressure gas separation unit. 

“This indigenous technology is a step towards achieving the goal of Atmanirbhar Bharat,” said S Dasappa, chairman, Interdisciplinary Centre for Energy Research, IISc. The technology dovetails with the National Hydrogen Energy Roadmap, an initiative of the Government of India that aims to promote the use of hydrogen to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, he added.

India uses nearly 50 lakh tonnes of hydrogen for various processes in different sectors, and its market is expected to grow in the coming years. Green hydrogen can be used in industries, including the steel industry to decarbonize steel, and in the agriculture sector to manufacture green fertilizers, said the release.

“Presently most of the hydrogen used in the country comes from fossil fuels through a process called the steam methane reforming route. Now we have a way to extract green hydrogen from biomass,” said Dasappa .The project was supported by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and the Department of Science and Technology of the Government of India.