Exploring Hydrogen Generation from Biomass-Derived Sugar and Sugar Alcohols to Reduce Costs

Project Overview
Positive Impact: Hydrogen and fuel cells can be used to produce clean, efficient power.
New aqueous phase reforming process uses liquid feedstocks to produce energy from hydrogen with reduced costs.
Locations: Wisconsin
Partners: Virent, Inc.
EERE Investment: $1.9 million
Clean Energy Sector: Sustainable transportationPDF

With support from EERE, researchers at Virent, Inc. in Madison developed new cost-effective methods to produce hydrogen from renewable resources like biomass-derived sugar and sugar alcohols. Hydrogen can be used with fuel cells to produce clean, efficient power with water as the only by-product. Conventional hydrogen-generating processes require three or more reaction steps, and use non-renewable fossil fuels. The new aqueous phase reforming process (APR) can generate hydrogen from sugar and sugar alcohols in a single-step catalytic reactor process. Because APR employs liquid feedstocks, rather than high temperature compressed gas feedstocks, it has the potential to be less costly than conventional generating processes.

The Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO) conducts comprehensive efforts to overcome the technological, economic, and institutional barriers to the widespread commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cells.

Learn more about this topic: