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index by sub-area 5.2. The integrated production and exploitation of biological materials for non-food uses
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A novel bioprocess for hydrogen production from biomass for fuel cells

Contract nr: QLK5-CT-1999-01267
Project type: RS (Research and Technological Development Project)
Starting date: 01-01-2000
Duration: 36 months
Total cost: 2,308,700 EUR
EC Contribution: 1,495,669 EUR
Scientific Officer: Ciaran MANGAN
Research topic: 5.2. The integrated production and exploitation of biological materials for non-food uses

Abstract:
The application of fuel cells is gaining an icreasing interest in the world of energy production. The advantages of fuel cells are clear: the energy conversion is more efficient as compared to traditional energy conversion systems, and emission is zero. However, the feedstock for fuel cells, hydrogen, is derived from fossil fuels and as such contributes to the increase in carbon dioxide. Gasification of biomass is currently being studied as a method of producing hydrogen from renewable resources, but is still hampered by high investment and operational costs. This project is aimed at the biological production of hydrogen from biomass employing (hyper)thermophilic microorganisms in combination with photoheterotrophic microorganisms. This alternative approach offers several advantages: it can be operated with fairly low technology, it can handle 'wet biomass', the produced hydrogen is free from contaminants and, above all, the theoretical production of hydrogen cellulose is higher than that produced by gasification.

Objectives:
The main objective of this proposal is the development of a system for the production of hydrogen from renewable resources that meets the specifications for application in fuel cells. In this way the advantages of fuel cells, i.e. higher energy conversion and zero emission, will become exploitable without the traditional carbon dioxide emission associated with the utilisation of fossil fuels. This goal will be achieved through integration of the work on processing biomass from energy crops and waste streams, the development of a microbial hydrogen producing ‘factory’, and the recovery and application of the product. The pan-European involvement of scientists and industrialists will support the objective of the knowledge spreading and the potential introduction of biological hydrogen production across Europe.


Coordinator
Pieternel CLAASSEN
Agrotechnological Research Institute
Wageningen
THE NETHERLANDS
Tel.: +31 317475325
Fax: +31 317475347
E-mail: p.a.m.classen@ato.dlo.nl


Partners
  Emmanuel KOUKIOS
National Technical University of Athens
Athens
GREECE
Tel.: +30 17723191
Fax: +30 17723163
E-mail: koukios@chemeng.ntua.gr
  Kati RECZEY
Technical University of Budapest
Budapest
HUNGARY
Tel.: +36 1 4632843
Fax: +36 1 4632598
E-mail: reczey@chem.bme.hu
  Ed van NIEL
Wageningen University
Wageningen
THE NETHERLANDS
Tel.: +31 317483101
Fax: +31 317483829
E-mail: Ed.vanNiel@algemeen.micr.wau.nl
  Kornel KOVACS
Jozsef A. University of Szeged, Department of Biotechnology
Szeged
HUNGARY
Tel.: +36 62 454351
Fax: +36 62 454352
E-mail: kornel@nucleus.szbk.u-szged.hu
  Patrick SANGLAN
Air Liquide
Sassenage
FRANCE
Tel.: +33 4 76436169
Fax: +33 4 76436155
E-mail: patrick.sanglan@airliquide.com