Hydrogen production contest awards funding to waste management business

Hull-based composting and waste-management specialist, Biowise, has been awarded funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. (BEIS)

This forms part of phase one of the Hydrogen BECCS (Bioenergy with Carbon Capture & Storage) Innovation Programme.

The programme supports technologies which can produce hydrogen from biogenic feedstocks and be combined with carbon capture.

It forms part of the BEIS £1bn 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 two phases. Phase one, with a total budget of £5m, will support multiple projects to develop a feasible prototype demonstration project to be run in phase two.

Biowise is one of 22 organisations selected from across the UK to participate in the new programme, each receiving up to £250,000.

Biowise will scope and develop the feasibility of processing larger items of waste compost into a biogenic feedstock source for hydrogen gasifiers.

The company operates in the municipal waste composting sector and processes some 200,000 tonnes per annum of garden and food wastes through three composting facilities.

Part of this waste includes materials known as compost over-size (COS), such as twigs, sticks and branches which do not decompose within the composting process.

Compared to other sources of waste wood, the material is unsuitable for direct combustion in energy from waste facilities, meaning it ends up being supplied into low value markets or sent for disposal.

Biowise managing director Bob Wilkes said: “We are honoured to take part in this project. The present absence of established and stable high value fuel markets creates little incentive for compost site operators to invest in innovative processes to produce a higher quality fuel.

“With Hydrogen BECCs Innovation Programme funding, we aim to develop a project that can process COS to produce a biogenic feedstock source for hydrogen gasifiers, addressing the current challenges associated with COS, and providing a fully biogenic feedstock for hydrogen BECCs supply chains.”

Energy Minister, Greg Hands, said: “Accelerating home-grown renewables like biomass is a key part of ending our dependency on expensive and volatile fossil fuels.

“This £37m of Government investment will support innovation across the UK, boosting jobs whilst ensuring greater energy security for years to come.”

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