UK launches hydrogen BECCS funding programme

Article by Amanda Jasi

THE UK Government has launched a £5m (US$6.8m) funding programme to support development of new technologies that will generate hydrogen via BECCS.

Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, or BECCS, is combustion of biomass to generate energy with CCS. It can be used to generate hydrogen from biomass and waste. According to the Government, hydrogen BECCS technologies have a key role to play in the UK’s path towards net zero emissions. It could provide hydrogen as a clean fuel for hard-to-decarbonise sectors such as transport and heavy industry, while removing greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere.

The Government’s Hydrogen BECCS Innovation Programme will support the development of technologies across three categories:

  1. Feedstock pre-processing – low-cost, energy and material efficient technologies to optimise biomass and feedstocks for use in advanced gasification technologies
  2. Gasification components – Advanced gasification technology components. Advanced gasification technologies are thermal conversion technologies that can be used to convert biomass or waste into aviation fuel, diesel, hydrogen, methane, or other hydrocarbons
  3. Novel biohydrogen technologies – New biohydrogen technologies which can be combined with carbon capture, such as dark fermentation, anaerobic digestion, wastewater treatment

The programme will have two phases to develop core technologies essential to generating hydrogen from biomass and waste, with use of CCS. In the first phase, applicants will receive up to £250,000 to develop their technology, demonstrating its feasibility and preparing project plans for Phase 2. In Phase 2, projects will be able to apply for further funding to support physical demonstration of hydrogen BECCS technologies.

Greg Hands, Minister for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change, said: “This government funding will help support the development of this new technology in the UK, boosting green jobs and investment while slashing carbon emissions.”

The programme will support the UK Government’s plan to develop a hydrogen economy as part of the nation’s green industrial revolution.

Funding for the hydrogen BECCS programme is through the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy’s £1b Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, which aims to accelerate commercialisation of innovative clean energy technologies and processes through this and the next decade.

The Government is now taking applications from small businesses and large companies to research institutions and universities under Phase 1 of the programme.

Article by Amanda Jasi

Staff reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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