The government launched on 12 January a new programme to help develop innovative technologies to produce hydrogen, a clean energy source, from sustainable biomass and waste.
Backed with £5 million in government funding, the new Hydrogen BECCS Innovation Programme will support the development of technologies to produce hydrogen generated via BECCS (bioenergy with carbon capture and storage). The BECCS process produces hydrogen from biomass and waste, with the ability to capture and store the carbon released during the process.
BECCS technology can uniquely offer the ability to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, as the CO2 absorbed during the growth of the sustainable biomass and the organic content found in waste can then be permanently removed from the atmosphere using carbon capture technologies. Hydrogen BECCS technologies therefore have a key role to play on the UK’s path to net zero emissions, providing hydrogen as a clean fuel for hard-to-decarbonise sectors such as transport and heavy industry, while also removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Hands said: "This innovative technology offers incredible potential for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, crucial to reaching our net zero goals. This government funding will help support the development of this new technology in the UK, boosting green jobs and investment while slashing carbon emissions."
The Hydrogen BECCS Innovation Programme will support technologies which can produce hydrogen from biogenic feedstocks and be combined with carbon capture. It forms part of the BEIS £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, which aims to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative clean energy technologies and processes through the 2020s and 2030s.
The programme will run in 2 phases. Phase 1 (total budget £5 million) will support multiple projects to scope and develop a feasible prototype demonstration project to be run in Phase 2.
Through a pre-commercial, fully funded procurement Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI), this programme aims to support innovative Hydrogen BECCS technology solutions across 3 categories:
1. Feedstock pre-processing: the development of low cost, energy and material efficient technologies which will optimise biogenic (including biomass and waste) feedstocks for use in advanced gasification technologies.
2. Gasification components: the development of advanced gasification technology components focusing on improving syngas quality and upgrading for generation of hydrogen.
3. Novel biohydrogen technologies: the development of novel biohydrogen technologies which can be combined with carbon capture, such as dark fermentation, anaerobic digestion, waste water treatment.
Applicants from small businesses and large companies, to research institutions and universities, can now bid for a share of £5 million new government funding under Phase 1 of the Hydrogen BECCS Innovation Programme. Each project will be able to bid for up to £250,000 to help develop their project plans and demonstrate the feasibility of their proposed innovation.
This new programme will support the government’s plan to develop a thriving low-carbon hydrogen sector as part of the UK’s green industrial revolution. As a clean fuel, emitting only water vapour when combusted, hydrogen has a critical role to play in our transition to net zero, with the potential to help reduce emissions from hard to decarbonise areas of the economy, such as transport and heavy industry.
Hydrogen BECCS technologies therefore present a key opportunity for the UK. This new programme will be crucial in supporting this new type of technology to be developed and scaled up for commercialisation here in the UK, helping the nation on the path to net zero while also providing new green jobs and encouraging private investment.
The EfW conference will be discussing the role of waste to energy in the production of hydrogen and the opportunities for this in the EfW industry and market as well as hydrogen's role in the drive to net zero.
For information on the programme, the event in general and to book your place, please see here.