About 500,000 tonnes of hydrogen are consumed as industrial raw material in different sectors in Spain. This hydrogen mainly comes from reforming natural gas, which generates CO2 emissions, as the process uses fossil fuel. In this context, the BioPhoto project will develop a technology for producing green hydrogen from organic waste.
Green hydrogen, also called renewable hydrogen, is 100% sustainable as it does not emit polluting gases during combustion or during the production process. The fuel can therefore be considered an ideal tool to replace fossil fuels in the sectors that are hardest to decarbonise, thus helping combat climate change.
Using organic waste for hydrogen production will help create a new value chain, which, apart from producing clean energy, will allow the recovery of organic waste that otherwise might impact on the environment if not managed properly.
BioPhoto, a project funded by the European Union NextGenerationEU funds, will research production and storage of green hydrogen from organic waste using biological processes and photocatalysis. The solution proposed by this project will be applied to sectors that generate liquid and/or solid waste with a high organic load, which can be used as an alternative fuel for public transport, among other uses.
The research ranges from the identification, characterisation and pretreatment of organic waste to the production of this clean fuel using dark fermentation, which consists of obtaining biohydrogen from organic waste in the absence of light through the combined action of anaerobic bacteria. Likewise, BioPhoto will carry out photocatalysis production of liquid waste and its final purification to obtain high-quality hydrogen, Another challenge for BioPhoto is researching purification and storage systems for H₂, which will help improve CO2 absorption and reaching a level of efficient distribution and transportation for the fuel.
This European project includes collaboration between companies and various research and knowledge dissemination organisations, such as Cetaqua, the Water Technology Centre Private Foundation; Aquambiente Circular Economy Solutions; CETIM Technology Centre; and Orchestra Scientific S.L.
The BioPhoto launch meeting took place on Monday, 26 June, where members of the consortium discussed the main challenges facing the initiative during its 30 months and the methodology to follow to fully position themselves as benchmarks in their sector and the renewable H₂ sector.
The main aim of the project, to research and study how to produce hydrogen from waste, is fully aligned with one of the key points in the Strategic Projects for Economic Recovery and Transformation of Renewable Energies, Renewable Hydrogen and Storage (PERTE ERHA) of the Ministry for the Ecological Transition.
BioPhoto is a clear example of energy and ecological transition, contributing to the promotion of a clean, circular and low-carbon economy, in line with national and European objectives to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 (Zero Net Emissions 2050) by significantly reducing emissions.