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Solar-driven reforming of waste into hydrogen

Project description

Using sunlight to create hydrogen from waste

Photoreforming can transform biomass, food and plastic waste into hydrogen. However, the current process relies on corrosive acids or bases to solubilise waste and enhance hydrogen generation. The EU-funded SolReGen project will address this problem by combining its patented photoreforming process with a benign enzymatic waste pretreatment. To achieve this, it will employ an enzyme immobilisation strategy; moreover, the overall system will be scaled up to 1 m2 and exposed to rooftop sunlight, and a sustainable business model will be developed that will lead to commercialisation. The initiative will therefore help photoreforming to become a viable hybrid technology for waste management and renewable energy production that is faster, cheaper, more sustainable and increasingly attractive to commercial partners.

Objective

Waste disposal leads to environmental pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and a loss of chemical and energy-rich resources. Photoreforming is a sunlight-driven technology that recaptures the value in waste while simultaneously contributing to renewable energy production by transforming biomass, food and plastic waste into hydrogen. However, our current photoreforming process relies on corrosive acids or bases in order to solubilise waste and enhance hydrogen generation, which raises sustainability and economic concerns. In the proposed SolReGen project, we will couple our patented photoreforming process with a benign enzymatic waste pre-treatment in order to enhance its commercialisation potential. This will be achieved through four key objectives: (i) optimisation of an enzyme immobilisation strategy for facile recycling and low-cost deployment, (ii) integration of enzymatic pre-treatment with photoreforming, (iii) scaling of the overall system to one square meter under rooftop sunlight, and (iv) development of a sustainable business model for commercialisation. By achieving these innovations and patenting where necessary, photoreforming will become a hybrid technology for waste management and renewable energy production that is faster, less expensive, more environmentally-friendly, and increasingly desirable to commercial partners.

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Coordinator

THE CHANCELLOR MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
Net EU contribution
€ 150 000,00
Address
Trinity lane the old schools
CB2 1TN Cambridge
United Kingdom

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Region
East of England East Anglia Cambridgeshire CC
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
EU contribution
No data

Beneficiaries (1)