Sat, Nov 15, 2008 - Page 4 News List

Team increases hydrogen production from biomass

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Feng Chia University has succeeded in boosting the production of hydrogen from biomass to 15 liters per hour, one of the world’s top biohydrogen production rates, a researcher at the university said yesterday.

Lin Chiu-yu (林秋裕), dean of the Feng Chia College of Engineering, told a news conference that in 1998 the university began to use facultative anaerobic organisms to produce hydrogen gas that could one day power fuel cells in cars and other devices.

PILOT PLANT

Last year, the university built Taiwan’s first model system for the production of biomass energy, called the “Biomass Energy Pilot Plant.” There, a research team managed to produce hydrogen and carbon dioxide from the fermentation of different strains of anaerobes in a sugar cane-based liquefied mixture.

Lin said that so far, the plant’s hydrogen production rate from biomass using a one-liter reactor has reached 15.09 liters per hour per liter of reactor volume, a world-class standard.

EFFICIENCY

To date, the most efficient hydrogen producer has been the bacteria clostridium, said the Feng Chia research team.

The bacteria exists in largest quantities at wastewater treatment plants.

Lin said the plant controls patent pre-treatment technologies to screen out the perfect anaerobe for their search.

Feng Chia University chief secretary Lin Liang-tai (林良泰) said the plant has drawn more than 40 experts from 15 countries around the world to visit.

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