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Anaerobic Production of Hydrogen from Biomass

Hydrogen production is a large and growing industry for a sustainable green energy economy. The economic value of all hydrogen produced worldwide is about $135 billion per year. Currently, global hydrogen production is 48% from natural gas, 30% from oil, and 18% from coal, and water electrolysis accounts for 4%. Utah State University researchers have developed a method in which biohydrogen is produced in a prototype bioreactor that utilizes feedstocks from various waste streams. The process involves bacteria feeding on hydrocarbons and exhaling hydrogen and CO2. The CO2 can be sequestered by several methods, leaving hydrogen gas. USU has accumulated extensive knowledge related to the operation of research and commercial scale anaerobic bioreactors utilizing various sources of organic feedstocks.
Features and Benefits
  • Hydrogen production utilizing renewable organic sources
  • Organic waste treatment:
    • Food processing
    • Municipal
    • Plant & animal feedstocks
  • Green energy production
  • Renewable , nonpolluting energy
    Utilize inexpensive and renewable
  • Cost effective and more efficient than existing system
  • Modular, compact vertical tank bioreactor system
The technology relates to anaerobic reactor methods for enriching biomass with hydrogen-producing bacteria and the methods of producing hydrogen gas using the enriched biomass.
Development Stage
A prototype hydrogen bioreactor capable of using various sources of waste as a feedstock has been developed and production data is available.
Patent Pending
Berry Treat
Senior Commercialization Associate
Life Sciences
(435) 797-4569
Reference: W09002