Indian IIT team researching on bio-hydrogen fuel from waste

IIT_Kharagpur image from Jagran

IIT Kharagpur in India is evaluating the possibilities of a new technology, which will help to generate clean bio-hydrogen fuel from waste, as reported by PTI.

A pilot level large-scale bio-reactor plant for producing hydrogen would be ready at this year, if the research works become fruitful.

A group of Indian scientists from six institutes are engaged in research work under Debabrata Das of IIT-Kgp’s biotechnology department is to produce bio-hydrogen using waste.

The pilot plant of 10 m3 capacity would be ready within 3-4 months for which we are constructing a building inside the campus. Hopefully the pilot plan study would be done within a year and after that we can go for commercialization of the technology, said, Das to PTI.

He said oil major ONGC has already shown interest for higher scale studies of 100 m3 biohydrogen plants.

Hydrogen is seen as an element able to provide clean energy supply to meet the growing needs and scientists are trying to generate the gas from distillery wastewater with a vision of ‘waste to energy’.

Scientists apply dark fermentation process under which bacteria can work both in the presence and absence of light and several organisms have been isolated so far, one from the leaf of a tree and one from high oil containing soil, giving good results.

Large-scale production of hydrogen gas for commercial use is now at developmental stage in India.

However, storage will be another challenge as hydrogen has a very low volumetric energy density and requires large space to store.

In addition, the cost of production will also be a critical factor in getting the technology move from lab to factories.

Many other national IITs and reputed universities have joined with the institution to assist and partner in the going on research works and developmental projects.

The project is funded by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

Sabeena Wahid