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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R00076X/1
Title: NWaste2H2- H2 Production by Reforming Bio-methane with Nitrogen Rich Waste Streams
Principal Investigator: Dupont, Dr V
Other Investigators:
Cockerill, Professor TT Camargo-Valero, Dr MA
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Defiant Energy Pvt Ltd Leeds City Council Lincolnshire County Council
Northern Gas Networks Twigg Scientific and Technical Ltd
Department: Chemical and Process Engineering
Organisation: University of Leeds
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 03 July 2017 Ends: 02 July 2019 Value (£): 202,491
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Bioenergy Sustainable Energy Vectors
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
16 Feb 2017 Energy Feasibility 2017 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The NWaste2H2 project aims to demonstrate that reducing the energy requirements and the associated greenhouse gas (CO2, N2O) emissions of biogas production at anaerobic digestion at AD plants and wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) whilst producing the clean energy vector hydrogen from reforming of the renewable biogas can be effected economically in the UK.

This project brings together for 2 years a team of expert researchers in AD from wastes (Camargo-Valero), H2 production (Dupont) and energy systems (Cockerill) across three Engineering schools at Leeds, as well as industrial and external collaborators in the WWTP, AD research, H2 production industry, UK City and County Councils, with academic partners in India, China, Thailand and Malaysia who are members of the Scientific Advisory Board for the project. The combined efforts will deliver detailed process model, UK-wide technology deployment model considering the different uses of the H2 produced downstream of the process, economic evaluation and LCA of integrated H2 production from biogas and Nitrogen-rich waste streams from anaerobic digestion at Anaerobic Digestion and Wastewater Treatment plants.

Funding for the project will provide for the costs of employment of a postdoctoral assistant for 18 months, as well as the laboratory expenses for a PhD student funded through the Centre for Doctoral Training on Bioenergy at The University of Leeds, and the dissemination and travel costs associated with presenting the work at world conferences on bioenergy and hydrogen.

The premise behind the proposed technology is to exploit the ability of reforming nitrogen rich organic co-feeds to hydrogen and nitrogen gas, with carbon dioxide as co-product, which allows diverting a large waste stream from the denitrification stage at AD/wastewater treatment plants. Both catalytic processes of steam reforming and autothermal reforming will be investigated as potential H2 production routes. Denitrification of digestate liquor at WWT currently represents a very significant capital and energy burden which results in significant nitrous oxide (N2O) gas emissions, when N2O has a global warming potential roughly 300 times that of CO2 over a 100 years horizon. The NWaste2H2 process will have to show high conversions not just to hydrogen gas but also to nitrogen gas in order to significantly divert N-rich waste streams from the denitrification step.
Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.leeds.ac.uk