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Hydrogen from Biomass

Biomass is organic material which includes agriculture crop residues, forest residues, special crops grown specifically for energy use , organic municipal solid waste, and animal wastes. This renewable resource can be used to produce hydrogen, along with other byproducts, by gasification. 

Biomass gasification is a technology pathway that uses a controlled process involving heat, steam, and oxygen to convert biomass to hydrogen and other products, without combustion. Because growing biomass removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, the net carbon emissions of this method can be low, especially if coupled with carbon capture, utilization, and storage in the long term. 


Gasification is a process that converts organic or fossil-based carbonaceous materials at high temperatures (>700°C), without combustion, with a controlled amount of oxygen and/or steam into carbon monoxide, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide. The carbon monoxide then reacts with water to form carbon dioxide and more hydrogen via a water-gas shift reaction. Adsorbers or special membranes can separate the hydrogen from this gas stream.

Source: Energy Department - Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy