Negative emissions from waste and hydrogen-BECCUS

Bioenergy with carbon capture, utilisation and storage (BECCUS) has the potential to provide net-negative emission hydrogen. However, a number of challenges (including feedstock flexibility, optimum process reactors for hydrogen-enriched syngas and syngas clean-up/separation) must be addressed before this opportunity can be realised. The UK’s recently published Biomass Strategy (August 2023) also recognised the importance of BECCS and its significant potential, as well as how it could play a significant role in meeting the net-zero target. However, the challenges are indeed multidisciplinary and intertwined with cross-cutting policy, life cycle assessment and socio-economics.

This project will develop an innovative concept for the net-negative emission biosyngas/hydrogen production (hydrogen-BECCUS) technology based on a novel integrated thermochemical process for non-recyclable municipal solid and biomass waste.

A pyrolysis-assisted gasification model with detailed tar kinetics, biosyngas upgrading and separation will be developed to optimise the yields of biosyngas/bio-H2. Various feedstocks (municipal solid waste (MSW), biomass and agri-waste) will be tested through modelling and experimentation, and through a sensitivity study, an optimum blend will be determined for hydrogen-enriched biosyngas.

The research will provide technical data for the investigation of viable pathways to embed the BECCUS technology in the context of circular economy, and support techno-economics for potential scaling-up to a small remote modular system and its implementation strategy in collaboration with the project partners and stakeholders. It will also explore an efficient route for potential sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from biosyngas working closely with the other co-investigators.

This project is led by Manosh Paul.