A clean hydrogen production technology from Southern Company Gas, Electro-Active Technologies and T2M Global has been selected for funding by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
The DOE awarded Southern Company $1 million for research and development for the project to advance next-generation clean hydrogen technologies. It also supports Southern Company’s recently announced Hydrogen Energy EarthShot initiative, which aims to reduce the cost of and accelerate breakthroughs in the clean hydrogen sector. The project seeks to de-risk, develop and demonstrate high-efficiency, low-cost renewable hydrogen generation for use in transportation and distributed energy applications. Its long-term goal is to remove barriers to commercialization of this clean, renewable fuel.
Southern Company Gas is leading the Novel Microbial Electrolysis System for Conversion of Biowastes into Low-Cost Renewable Hydrogen project based on core technology from Electro-Active Technologies, an early-stage startup creating waste-to-value solutions. T2M Global is supporting investigations into end-use applications, including fuel cell testing. This project is supporting Electro-Active Technologies’ efforts in demonstrating the waste-to-hydrogen technology at pilot scale in collaboration with its partners.
The project’s approach targets distributed generation of hydrogen from food waste, diverting the waste from landfills, and minimizing greenhouse gas emissions from the food value chain and the transportation sector. The solution offers waste generators an advanced option to divert large volumes of food waste from landfills and comply with local regulations. The technology is based on use of biology and electrochemistry to break down food waste into electrons and protons and their combination at the cathode to produce hydrogen via small external voltage.
“This project provides a unique opportunity to highlight the feasibility of generating meaningful amounts of hydrogen and a practical means to offset more carbon-intensive fuels,” said Abhijeet Borole, Ph.D., co-founder and president of Electro-Active Technologies Inc. “As the movement toward the hydrogen vector is gaining speed, demand for all sources of hydrogen is increasing. However, developing pathways to clean hydrogen is critical. Funding from DOE’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office is making this possible. Further, the Biden Administration’s focus on hydrogen as the first EarthShot illustrates the need to get to a low-cost, clean hydrogen within a decade.”
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