Scheme launched to support hydrogen production from biomass

The government this week launched a programme to help develop technologies to produce hydrogen from “sustainable” biomass and waste. The government is looking to support the development of solutions to improve the production of hydrogen from biomass, such as wood.

Backed with £5 million in government funding, the Hydrogen BECCS Innovation Programme will support the development of technologies producing hydrogen via bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).

The programme seeks to support the development of solutions across feedstock pre-processing, gasification components, and novel biohydrogen technologies. Energy and climate change minister Greg Hands said: “This innovative technology offers incredible potential for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, crucial to reaching our net zero goals. “This government funding will help support the development of this new technology in the UK, boosting green jobs and investment while slashing carbon emissions.”

As of 12 January, applicants from organisations incorporating small businesses and large companies to research institutions and universities can bid for a share of the funding under Phase 1 of the programme. Each project can bid for up to £250,000 to help develop their plans and demonstrate the feasibility of their proposed innovation. Phase 1 will then be followed by a second Phase which will provide further funding to support the development of physical demonstration of the most promising hydrogen BECCS technology.

The programme is funded through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, which aims to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative clean energy technologies and processes through the next two decades. The BECCS process produces hydrogen from biomass and waste, with the ability to capture and store the carbon released during the process. According to BEIS, BECCS technology is “unique” in its ability to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, as the CO2 absorbed during the growth of the sustainable biomass and the organic content found in waste can be permanently removed from the atmosphere using carbon capture technologies. As such, BEIS says BECCS technologies therefore have a “key role” to play on the UK’s path to net zero emissions.