Waste Biomass to Renewable Hydrogen

December 6th, 2021

R&D Focus Areas:
Biomass and waste conversion, Electrolysis, Computational modelling

Lead Organisation:
University of New South Wales (Sydney)

Beijing Origin Water, Apricus Energy Pty Ltd


Start date:
August 2018

Completion date:
December 2022

Key contacts:
Associate Professor Jason Scott: jason.scott@unsw.edu.au

AUD$1,045,770 – Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)

Project total cost:
AUD$2,545,516 – combined cash and in-kind contributions

Project summary description:
Extracting hydrogen from biomass represents a valuable approach by which a waste organic stream can be transformed into hydrogen (or hydrogen-carriers) for downstream use or as an exportable commodity. This project aims to develop a biomass reforming system capable of extracting hydrogen and/or hydrogen carriers – such as bio-alcohols and bio-acids – from biomass. The biomass reforming system will comprise a biomass pre-conditioning reactor (BPR) coupled with a flow electrolyser cell (FEC) to produce renewable hydrogen without any carbon dioxide emissions.

Related publications and key links:

  • Jiang, L., Pan, J., Li, Q., Chen, H., Zhou, S., Yu, Z., Jiang, S., Yin, H., Guan, J., Taylor, R.A., Fisher, R., Leslie, G., Scott, J., Zhao, H., Wang, D.-W., A holistic green system coupling hydrogen production with wastewater valorisation, EcoMat, e12254, 2022, https://doi.org/10.1002/eom2.12254
  • Li, Q., Charlton, A.J., Omar, A., Dang, B., Le-Clech, P., Scott, J., Taylor, R.A., A novel concentrated solar membrane-distillation for water purification in a building integrated design, Desalination, 535, 115828, 2022, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.desal.2022.115828
  • Li, Q., Zhuo, Y., Shanks, K., Taylor, R.A., Conneely, B., Tan, A., Shen, Y., Scott, J.A., winged solar biomass reactor for producing 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF), Solar Energy, 218, p455 – 468, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.solener.2021.03.001
  • Lie, W.H., Deng, C., Yang, Y., Tsounis, C., Wu, K.-H., Chandra-Hioe, M.V., Bedford, N.M., Wang, D.-W., High yield electrooxidation of 5-hydroxymethyl furfural catalysed by unsaturated metal sites in CoFe Prussian Blue Analogue films, Green Chemistry, 23, 4333-4337, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1039/D1GC01208H
  • Deng, C., Wu, K.-H., Lu, X., Cheong, S., Tilley, R.D., Chiang, C.L., Lin, Y.-C., Lin, Y.-G., Yan, W., Scott, J., Amal, R., Wang, D.-W., Ligand-Promoted Cooperative Electrochemical Oxidation of Bio-Alcohol on Distorted Cobalt Hydroxides for Bio-Hydrogen Extraction, ChemSusChem, 14(12), p2612 – 2620, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1002/cssc.202100722
  • Jiang, J., Tsounis, C., Gallington, L.C., Hu, Y., Scott, R.W.J., Scott, J.A., Bedford, N.M., Disordered TiOx-SiOx Nanocatalysts Using Bioinspired Synthetic Routes, ACS Applied Energy Materials, 4(8), p7691 – 7701, 2021, https://doi.org/10.1021/acsaem.1c01025

Higher degree studies supported:
Two PhD students and three postdoctoral researchers at the University of New South Wales (Sydney) were supported by this project.


Reviewed: April 2023