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Government launches £5m hydrogen from biomass funding

© Supplied by Ways2HA Ways2H waste-to-hydrogen facility. Tokyo.
A Ways2H waste-to-hydrogen facility. Tokyo.

The hydrogen BECCS innovation programme will support the development of innovative new technologies aimed at generating hydrogen from biomass and waste.

Backed with £5 million in government funding, the programme aims to support the development of technologies linked to producing hydrogen via BECCS (bioenergy with carbon capture and storage).

Funds are issued as part of 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.

Interested technology developers can bid for a share of £5 million under Phase 1 of the programme. Each project will be able to bid for up to £250,000 to develop their plans and demonstrate the feasibility of their proposed innovation.

Phase 1 will then be followed by a second phase, that will provide further funding to support the most promising Phase 1 projects to demonstrate their projects.

Applications are open to groups ranging from SMEs and large companies to research institutions and universities.

BEIS welcomed solutions from three main categories: feedstock pre-processing, aiding the development of technologies which will optimise biomass and waste feedstocks for use in gasification; gasification components, comprised of thermal conversion technologies which can be used to convert biomass or waste into aviation fuel, diesel, hydrogen, methane and other hydrocarbons; and novel biohydrogen technologies which can be combined with carbon capture, such as dark fermentation, anaerobic digestion, or waste water treatment.

The government says BECCS technology is “unique” in its CO2 removal potential, as the CO2 absorbed during the growth of the sustainable biomass and organic material found in waste can be permanently removed from the atmosphere using carbon capture technologies.

It said hydrogen and BECCS technologies therefore have “a key role” in supporting the UK’s path to net zero emissions, in providing hydrogen as a clean fuel for hard-to-decarbonise sectors such as transport and heavy industry, while also removing greenhouse gases (GHGs) from the atmosphere.

BEIS said the programme would be “crucial” in supporting this new type of technology to be developed and scaled up for commercialisation in the UK.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Hands said such technologies offered “incredible potential for removing carbon dioxide” from the atmosphere, adding that the new funding would help support the development of new technology in the UK, “boosting green jobs and investment while slashing carbon emissions.”

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