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Waste to Hydrogen

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Waste2H2 (Waste to Hydrogen)

Reporting period: 2021-01-01 to 2022-03-31

WASTE2H2 aims at strengthening IPPortalegre’s capacity in the implementation of gas cleaning and conversion technologies for hydrogen production. This goal can be achieved by taking advantage of the existent know-how regarding syngas production from different biomass waste materials used in pilot equipment and by acquiring capacities and skills in different technologies from European leading experts in syngas production and cleaning techniques.
Also, this project will promote more investment in research and innovation (R&I), which is one of the pillars of the Europe 2020 strategy and a crucial part of Europe's response to its current economic crisis. A strategic and integrated approach is required to maximize European, national, and regional R&I potential. The deployment of new knowledge, networks and synergies between leading European partners in hydrogen technologies can support these priorities.
In this context, there are several technologies of interest, namely: Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA), membrane hydrogen separation, water gas shift (WGS) reaction, methanation reaction, carbon dioxide separation and capture, that are based on the physical binding of gas molecules to a solid adsorbent material. The interaction between the gas and the adsorbent depends mainly on the gas component, its partial pressure, the type of adsorbent, and the temperature. It is a state-of-the-art process for gas separation and is widely used at a commercial scale for different applications, for example, air separation, hydrogen production, and biogas upgrading. These technologies can provide smart growth due to their innovative nature and they can also help promote a more resource efficient, and competitive economy by contributing to the decarbonization of the European energy and transport systems.
To achieve the abovementioned goal, WASTE2H2 is carrying out a set of activities to raise the research profile of IPPortalegre, and increase its scientific, technological and innovation capacity. Within this twinning project, IPPortalegre is amplifying its network and collaborating with leading research institutions and creating sustainable partnerships beyond this project.
Thus, WASTE2H2 involves engaging international expertise (KTH, ENEA and KIT) to translate knowledge and obtain significant scientific developments. This will occur by integrating knowledge, capacitating researchers, and involving the partners in further research consortiums using a consolidated network. As the interactions between the international consortium partners are strengthened, research in the complementary fields, such as biofuels production, biorefineries, waste production, and renewable energies sources will also be enhanced, benefitting both industry and the scientific community.
This report covers the period between M1 and M15. Through this first period of the report, WASTE2H2 has achieved several results related to its six working packages, including dissemination activities.
Within WP1 each partner surveyed and inventoried the scientific equipment available at their facilities, their ongoing research projects, their publications, their training and educational programs and their main networking channels. All the information was converted into D1.1 and delivered on M9. Also, the first version of D1.3 was delivered on M15, and from the discussion meeting about joint EU proposals during the 1st scientific short mission, the consortium submitted the CONFLUENCE proposal to a Horizon Europe call. The results came out on May 20th and funding was not granted to this first proposal, with a score of 11.5 out of 15.
So far, the consortium performed 2 exploratory visits (to KTH in M9 and KIT in M16), and one workshop (KTH in M11).
Regarding this period of the report and within WP3, due to travel restrictions and staff shortages at KTH, the first exchange was not yet performed. The first summer school on “Biomass and waste gasification technologies” was to be held at KTH in M9 but it was postponed and performed by M11, allowing for in-person interaction, experience exchange and hands-on experience during lab sessions.
Gender wise, the consortium will increase the number of overall invitations for the next events. This will allow having a larger list of speakers to invite, and hopefully, achieve a 50/50 gender balance on the number of speakers.
Up to now in WP4, the consortium has built a stakeholder database file, shared via Google Drive, that is made up of about 100 stakeholder contacts, belonging to different fields of interest of WASTE2H2.
WASTE2H2’s Exploitation Strategy is being continuously addressed throughout the project (WP5) and will ultimately be delivered as D5 by M20.
Lastly, D6.2 was delivered at M6 and reported the promotional and dissemination actions scheduled throughout the project's lifetime. The project already has a visual identity, composed of a logo, colour scheme and word and ppt templates. Moreover, the project’s website has been launched on M14, as well as the project’s LinkedIn.
Hydrogen is at the forefront of a technology revolution that is vital for the survival of the planet. Hydrogen has a very low carbon footprint, in case it is produced from renewable sources such as biomass or wastes. IPPortalegre has significant experience in thermal gasification processes and technologies mainly focused on electricity production in internal combustion engines. However, IPPortalegre has lack knowledge in syngas enhancement leading to hydrogen production. This project represents an opportunity for IPPortalegre to go beyond of what is currently its working knowledge on gasification technologies and hydrogen production. WASTE2H2 is expected to increase IPPortalegre’s participation in new networks, and increase its international/national project submissions and peer-reviewed publications and patents.
By partnering with KTH, ENEA and KIT, IPPortalegre has the opportunity to gain knowledge in syngas upgrading by learning and implementing new research lines, strengthening its research profile, thus countering the crowding-out effect in this highly competitive field. By the end of the project, IPPortalegre will have know-how in the whole value chain of waste thermal gasification for hydrogen production, hence becoming a high-profile R&D player. This position will be extremely relevant for Portugal and for the Alentejo region since gasification for hydrogen production is one of the technological pathways predicted by the Portuguese national hydrogen strategy. This technology will have a relevant role in upcoming years (up to 2030), and its development will lead to job generation in underpopulated areas, and increase the need for highly trained human resources for all the positions in hydrogen’s value-chain. In that sense, IPPortalegre will have a very significant role to play, putting into practice all the knowledge gathered during WASTE2H2.