Indian Institute of Science and Indian Oil Corporation Research and Development Centre (R&D Centre) signed a MoU to develop biomass gasification-based Hydrogen Generation Technology (HGT) to produce Fuel Cell Grade Hydrogen at an affordable price.

Hydrogen Generation Technology being envisaged under the programme will provide clean energy option to address the challenge of biomass waste. The technology is to be demonstrated at the Faridabad’s Indian Oil Research and Development Centre. The hydrogen generated from this demonstration plant is to be used to power fuel cell buses of bigger projects of Indian Oil.

Biomass Gasification

Biomass Gasification is a process that converts biomass to hydrogen and other products without combustion. This is done with the help of steam, heat and oxygen. Biomass technology was developed by Indian Institute of Science. The technology first produces hydrogen rich synthetic gas from biomass. It then separates hydrogen from the synthetic gas.

Hydrogen Fuel

Hydrogen Fuel is a zero-emission fuel and it is used as fuel for space craft propulsion. 90 per cent of atoms in the universe are made of hydrogen. Water is the most abundant compound of Hydrogen. Most of the hydrogen in the earth is bonded to oxygen in water and carbon in live or dead fossilised biomass.

The only by-product of hydrogen fuel is water. This process makes hydrogen fuel 100 per cent clean. The fuel cells coupled with electric motor is 2 to 3 times more efficient than the internal combustion engine running on gasoline.

Storage of Hydrogen

Hydrogen can be stored either as gas or as liquid. Storing hydrogen as gas requires high pressure tanks and as liquid requires cryogenic temperatures (temperatures below around 123 K, which equals -150°C or -238°F).

Pros and Cons of Hydrogen

Hydrogen in renewable, fuel efficient. It can produce more energy per unit of fuel than that of diesel and gas. It can be used as fuel in space rockets. It is non-toxic and environmentally friendly.

On the flip side, hydrogen does not occur in deposits like fossil fuels. It is far more expensive to produce. It is highly flammable that’s why use in rockets. There is a need to scale up the network of supply infrastructure. Indian Oil and IISc tie up for Hydrogen Generation Technology Indian Oil and IISc tie up for Hydrogen Generation Technology