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Cycle 9 (2020 Deadline)

Renewable hydrogen generation with carbon recycling (ReHyCaRe) from biogenic residues of Bangladesh

PI: Kawnish Kirtania (, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET)
Co-PIs: Dr. Kazi Bayzid Kabir (BUET), Prof. Chayan Kumer Saha and Prof. Md. Monjurul Alam, Bangladesh Agriculture University (BAU), and Dr. Md. Ismail (Dhaka University)
U.S. Partner: M. Toufiq Reza, Florida Institute of Technology
Project Dates: April 2021 - March 2024

Project Overview:
9-017_ReHyCare multilayered concept
´╗┐Multilayered project concept
9-017_ReHyCare team photo collage
Experimental activities at BAU. Photo credit: Dr. Kirtania, BUET
9-017 Kirtania Clean energy seminar
Bangladesh, being one of the most rapidly growing developing countries in South Asia, is going to experience a surge in energy demand in the upcoming years. Unfortunately, the country’s fossil reserve has already been depleted, but with 180 million people, it produces an enormous amount of biogenic residue that could be harnessed for clean energy, for example, hydrogen (H2) production. In order to distribute clean energy at a lower cost throughout the country, low-risk, ready-to-deploy modular H2 generation systems hold the key to success for Bangladesh. This project proposes a novel process that utilizes biogenic residues for renewable H2 generation on the modular scale. This transformative concept has been developed by three leading universities of Bangladesh (Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Bangladesh Agricultural University, and Dhaka University) collaborating with partners at the Florida Institute of Technology. By converting an environmental liability (biogenic residues) into clean energy (H2), this project could aid in attaining energy security for Bangladesh.

The overall project goal is to instigate unique research and development activities focused on Bangladesh and its H2 generation potential. The concept proposes to utilize the biogenic residues available in Bangladesh by anaerobic digestion to produce biogas, which will be cleaned and further upgraded to H2 with a low-cost catalyst. First, the scope of this project will identify specific biogenic residues and their biochemical methane potentials. Instead of monodigestion, co-digestion of mixed biogenic residues will be performed to explore synergistic effects on biogas production. Catalytic upgrading of biogas to H2 will be performed in a novel reactor. The main advantage of this reactor is its ability to convert biogas, even with high carbon dioxide content, into a H2-rich syngas. Economic compatibility and low environmental impact will be ensured by conducting techno-economic analysis and life cycle assessment, respectively. These activities will be carried out at the Bangladeshi universities. Meanwhile, the U.S. partners will share their findings on digestate conversion to high-value carbon materials from their ongoing National Science Foundation-funded project.

Anaerobic co-digestion, biogas cleaning, and digestate management activities will address the current limitations of the ongoing biogas programs regarding operations and maintenance issues and waste management. The team has facilitated the formation of an advisory panel including key stakeholders, which will provide an interactive platform for researchers and industry representatives to collaborate. Life cycle assessment and techno-economic analysis will provide policy-level recommendations to expedite the transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources. In the meantime, the project will aid in developing the required workforce for realization of the concept, through improved curricula at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, multidisciplinary research activities, and exchange of information among the participating institutions.

ReHyCaRe Project website:

Project updates

During October-December 2021 reporting period, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) continued research activities including preparing the manuscript paper on the hydrogen generation routes. An inventory analysis using survey data from plant and relevant literature data is constructed for the life cycle analysis study of anaerobic co-digestion of agricultural waste, in collaboration with the BAU team. The RA from BUET team participated in Energy Future 4 (EF4) Conference 2021, held October 18, 2021 virtually. A poster on the Hydrogen generation potential from biogenic residues of Bangladesh was presented at the conference. 
Clean Energy Seminar series continued through the inauguration of the first student event, organized by the BUET team and supported by other partner institutions. This outreach event was curated targeting students interested in renewable energy related research and careers. The first Clean Energy Student Event held October 3, 2021 was attended by 63 participants, including undergraduate and graduate students, as well as researchers, industrial personnel, engineers, government employee and faculty.  
Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) has been continuing the characterization study of different biogenic feedstocks. Despite COVID travel restrictions, on December 22, 2021, the PI’s team (at BUET) and Co PI’s team (at DU) visited project Co PIs at BAU, Mymensingh with their U..S partner Dr. Toufiq Reza (FIT) who was visiting Bangladesh. The seminar given by Dr. Toufiq Reza was attended by 65 participants, including students from BAU, BUET and DU, as well as researchers and faculty members. The day-long visit also included project update meetings and laboratory visits by the ReHyCaRe team.

University of Dhaka (DU) has been continuing their research activities under the #WP4. The design of absorption system for biogas cleaning has been completed by the DU team. The set-up is designed consisting of zero-valent iron solution tank for removing hydrogen sulfide gas from biogas. The manuscript on the article of biogas cleaning technologies is being prepared. The DU team is processing procurement activities for the absorption system apparatus. The team also attended  Clean Energy Seminar organized by the BAU team.

ReHyCaRe Factsheet

9-017 Kirtania_US partner seminar 9-017 Kirtania clean energy seminar reza
Seminar by US Partner Dr. Toufiq Reza

9-017 Kirtania BAU lab visit9-017 Kirtania team
Visiting GEKH lab at BAU, Mymensingh
PI’s team (at BUET) and CoPI’s team (at DU) visit project CoPIs at BAU, Mymensingh with
U.S. partner, Dr. Toufiq Reza (FIT) December 22, 2021
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