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PARTNERSHIPS FOR ENHANCED ENGAGEMENT IN RESEARCH (PEER)
Cycle 9 (2020 Deadline)


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

PI: Kawnish Kirtania (kkdwip@che.buet.ac.bd), 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:

Project Overview:
 
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.


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