HYWARE: Renewable hydrogen from wastes: a circular solution for regions without land availability

Research project corresponding to the call 2021 and reference PID2021-124705OB-I00, for grants for «Proyectos de Generación de Conocimiento».

The European Commission considers hydrogen as one of the main players in achieving its ambitious decarbonisation targets. To that end, strategies and roadmaps have been developed to ensure that the large quantities required will be satisfied with 100% renewable hydrogen, based on electrolytic production methods linked to renewable energy until 2030. Beyond this year, the use of waste and/or biogas is also considered as additional renewable resources for obtaining hydrogen in order to ensure the supply of the increasing quantities that will be demanded.

The HYWARE project will develop a regional model for the integration of the production of hydrogen from waste and biogas with electrolytic processes. This renewable and circular hydrogen would be produced and consumed in those situations where the renewables do not allow obtaining the electrolytic one. This would minimize the costly storage or oversizing alternatives. The solution proposed by HYWARE is especially relevant to regions with low land availability for the implementation of renewables, either because of its high price, its high population density or geological impediments. In fact, obtaining hydrogen from waste could be the best option for these territories. HYWARE proposes the generation of mathematical models of the processes for the production of hydrogen from waste (gasification, reforming of aqueous fractions of hydrothermal treatments and pyrolysis of waste, steam reforming and catalytic decomposition of biomethane, dark fermentation, microbial cells …). In addition, HYWARE generates experimental data necessary for the modeling of nonconventional biogas reforming, which is considered as one of the most promising alternatives at the European level. All these processes will be characterized by environmental, economic and social life cycle indicators. The information generated will be fed to the HYWARE model to calculate the inventories of the potential regional waste management systems that integrate hydrogen generation. Thus, HYWARE will allow the multi-objective optimization of these systems from the perspective of costs, environmental footprint and social risks. HYWARE will also adapt regional energy planning models that will determine the maximum amount of electrolytic hydrogen that can be obtained based on the availability of renewables. The final product of HYWARE will be a tool that leads to determine the best combinations of electrolytic and circular hydrogen for each region, minimizing the cost and ensuring its environmental sustainability and social responsibility, since these aspects are especially addressed in each one of the stages of the project.

Partners: IMDEA Energy Institute

Funding Institution/Program: Ministry of Science and Innovation-FEDER-UE / Proyectos de Generación de Conocimiento 2021

Period: September 2022-August 2025

IMDEA Energy Institute external funding: 181.500 €

IPs IMDEA Energy: Dr. Javier Dufour/ Dr. Patricia Pizarro