Hydrogen production from biomass

  • Author / Creator
    Sarkar, Susanjib
  • Hydrogen can be produced from biomass; this hydrogen is called biohydrogen. Biohydrogen produced in Western Canada can partially contribute to meeting the demand for hydrogen needed for bitumen upgrading. Gasification and pyrolysis are two promising pathways for producing biohydrogen in a large-scale plant. Syngas, produced from the gasification of biomass, and bio-oil, produced from fast pyrolysis of biomass, can be steam reformed to produce biohydrogen. The cost of biohydrogen delivered by pipeline to a distance of 500 km is $2.20 per kg of H2, assuming that a plant utilizes 2000 dry tonnes of whole-tree biomass per day processing it in a Battelle Columbus Laboratory (BCL) gasifier. For forest residue- and straw-based biohydrogen plants the values are similar: $2.19 and $2.31 per kg of H2, respectively. Maximum economy of scale benefits are realized for biohydrogen production plants capable of processing 2000 and 3000 dry tonnes per day using BCL and GTI (Gas Technology Institute) gasification technology, respectively. The cost of biohydrogen from fast pyrolysis ($2.47 per kg of H2 from a 2000 dry tonne per day plant), using forest residue as the feedstock, is higher than the cost of biohydrogen produced by gasification. Carbon credits of about $120-$140 per tonne of CO2 are required to make biohydrogen competitive with natural-gas-based hydrogen.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2009
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Bressler, David (Agricultural, Food, & Nutritional Science)
    • Kumar, Amit (Mechanical Engineering)
    • Lipsett, Michael (Mechanical Engineering)