Large-scale biohydrogen production in western Canada

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Courtesy of BioEnergy Conference & Exhibition

Amit Kumar, together with his colleague Susanjib Sarkar, a graduate student in the University of Alberta’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, has studied energy production in the oil sands. “When you produce bitumen, you need to upgrade it with hydrogen, mostly coming from natural gas,” Kumar said. He added that increased hydrogen supply might come from biomass depending on the results of a techno-economic assessment and comparing it with current hydrogen sources.

Three biomass feedstocks were considered: whole forest, forest residue, and agricultural
residue. Currently, “95% of forest residues in Alberta are collected and burned, while wheat and barley straw are left to rot in the field,” stated Kumar.

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