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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:

April-June 2023 updates

Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) is continuing activities under WP#5 by completing the procurement of CaDRe. The research team has been designing experiments to be conducted using the reactor system. The review article on “Prospects and Challenges of Renewable Hydrogen Generation in Bangladesh” published in International Journal of Hydrogen Energy became available online during this quarter. This publication indicated the possible pathways and the roadmap for hydrogen generation and utilization possibilities in Bangladesh. Project management activities (#WP7) are continued 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. A clean energy seminar (student event) was organized at BUET on “The role of bioenergy for the sustainable energy transition in Europe” delivered by Dr. Angel David Garcia (Research and Process Engineer, HoSt Group, Bioenergy Systems, Netherlands). The PI also met with Dr. Mustafa Moinuddin, Senior Deputy Director, Integrated Sustainability Center, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Japan to discuss about the project activities.  
Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) is continuing anaerobic co-digestion (WP#3) of different potential biogenic residues identified under WP#2 through batch assays and scoping study. The team has completed bio-methane potential tests of 25 available biogenic residues till date and is preparing a manuscript based on the studies. An article “Anaerobic Co-digestion of poultry droppings and banana waste for maximizing biogas production in Bangladesh” was accepted and published in FUEL journal in this quarter. The team also organized a seminar involving Bangladesh energy power and research council (BEPRC) and rehycare team on June 12, 2023. Co-PI, BAU component given keynote presentation entitled “Anaerobic Co-Digestion of Biogenic Residues for Optimizing Biogas Production in Bangladesh” in the seminar. Also, BAU hosted USAID BD mission delegates in March for project update. Both PI (Dr. Kawnish Kirtania) and Co-PI (Dr. Chayan Kumer Saha) delivered technical presentations at this meeting. This was not reported previously as the meeting was held after the previous reporting period.
University of Dhaka (DU) has been continuing with WP#4 by conducting experiments for removing H2S from biogas. The team currently exploring the use of activated carbon for H2S removal from biogas. Furthermore, a blend of activated carbon and waster iron composition at various ratios are also tested for H2S removal.  The team members are also participated in the ReHyCare event organized by BAU team. 

Mst. Lucky Khatun, Jannatoon Nime, Rajesh Nandi, Md. Monjurul Alam, Chayan Kumer Saha, "Co-digestion of poultry droppings and banana waste for maximizing biogas production in Bangladesh Fuel", Volume 346, 2023, 128346, ISSN 0016-2361,

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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