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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:

July -September 2022 Project updates

Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) is continuing research activities under #WP1 by submitting the manuscript titled “A comparative life cycle assessment of anaerobic mono- and co-digestion of livestock manure in Bangladesh” in a peer reviewed journal. A manuscript on literature review on renewable hydrogen generation routes is being prepared by the team and nearing completion. The research team is continuing the LCA study by comparing several waste-based hydrogen generation routes. Catalyst characterization experiments are being conducted in the lab. A preliminary design of a catalytic fixed bed reactor system has been ongoing and currently at the phase of evaluation under #WP5. Project management activities are ongoing both in person and virtually. Regular project meetings among the partner institutions are being conducted over virtual platforms. The research team members have also been conducting meetings for collaborative projects and arranging outreach events involving students. Social media platforms and the project website are being utilized for dissemination information regarding the event.
Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) has been continuing the feed characterization and BMP tests for co-digestion of different biogenic feedstocks.  Optimization experiments for co-digestion has begun. Characterization of mixed waste for co-digestion was conducted by varying the ratio. Livestock manure such as poultry manure and cow manure with wheat straw, spoiled maize and wheat were investigated in the recent experiments. The BMP tests were conducted for the mentioned waste mix for five mixing ratios (90:10, 30:70,50:50, 10:90,100:0). Highest methane yield was found for 50:50 mix of cow manure and maize crop. The research team of BAU  also submitted two research abstracts to local conferences. A draft manuscript on the prospects of anaerobic co-digestion in Bangladesh has been prepared and currently being revised, with collaboration from all other partner institutions. 
University of Dhaka (DU) has been  conducting experiments for removing H2S from biogas. The team has selected waste iron as an adsorbent and found it successfully removing most of the H2S in biogas after a certain residence time. The team is also working preparing the manuscript for a review paper on H2S removal. The DU team arranged a student event with collaboration with other partner institutes and ACS Student Chapter Bangladesh. 

Samira Hossain, Shammi Akter, Chayan Kumer Saha, Toufiq Reza, Kazi Bayzid Kabir, Kawnish Kirtania, "A comparative life cycle assessment of anaerobic mono- and co-digestion of livestock manure in Bangladesh". Waste Management, Volume 157, 2023, Pages 100-109, ISSN 0956-053X,

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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