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Io Antonopoulou, Associate Senior Lecturer of Biochemical Process Engineering at Luleå University of Technology. View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Renewable hydrogen production and storage via biotechnology

Published: 2 June 2022

The project REFORM, Renewable hydrogen production and storage via biotechnological interconversion of carbon dioxide and formic acid, aims in the development of an efficient cycle where hydrogen can be produced and stored as a chemical for demand-oriented use.

"For this purpose, we will use exclusively biological processes employing enzymes and microorganisms as biocatalytic tools. First, we will capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from industrial emissions and make it solubilized in a solution", Io Antonopoulou says, Associate Senior Lecturer in Biochemical Process Engineering.

Then by adding electrons and protons we will reduce carbon dioxide to produce formic acid (HCOOH), offering a temporary storage for hydrogen (H2). Formic acid is a non-flammable chemical with low toxicity that can be transported easily. By formic acid dehydrogenation, H2 can be released by demand with lower energy consumption than other storage media, such as methylcyclohexane or ammonia. In the project, we will also perform system analysis to compare the developed cycle with the current state of the art (water electrolysis).

The project is a collaboration between the Biochemical Process Engineering group and the Energy Engineering group.

How does the project contribute to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals?

The project targets the following UN’s Sustainable Development Goals: Goal 7- Affordable and Clean Energy by developing novel routes for clean energy carriers, Goal 9-Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure by investigating novel sustainable routes that are associated with the hydrogen production and storage indirectly impacting distribution concerns, Goal 12- Sustainable consumption and production by offering solutions that can impact the society towards a circular economy, Goal 13- Climate change by capturing and recycling carbon dioxide and Goal 17-Partnerships for the goals by building cross-disciplinary collaborations.