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United Kingdom transport fuel project 'hy' on biomethane

Wednesday, 02 June 2021

United States based hydrogen company BayoTech and IBMS Group, a holding company for sustainable operations will together launch the United Kingdom's first renewable hydrogen project where the feed will be biomethane from food waste.

The project will have a daily production of approximately 1 tonne of renewable hydrogen, with an energy content of over 30 MWh, slated to be used for zero-emission vehicles in London and Surrey.

The announcement of the project also coincides with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) 'Seize the Moment' initiative. The CBI is a UK business advocacy group, and the initiative is intended to address the multiple challenges facing UK industry including post-Brexit, the push for renewables and COVID recovery.

“BayoTech is thrilled to be working with IBMS Group on such a ground-breaking project,” said Steve Jones, BayoTech’s vice-president, Europe.

“Using food waste to create zero-carbon fuel is an excellent example of regional sustainability. This tackles a bottleneck of renewable hydrogen availability in the UK and gives fleet operators immediate access to cost-effective, carbon-neutral or even carbon-negative hydrogen"

The project will adopt a model of regional hydrogen production and distribution, which should reduce costs and carbon footprint in comparison to more traditional production models and electrolyser systems.

There is even ambitions of carbon-capture retrofitting in the future - this would take the project into carbon-negative territory.

Steve Sharratt, CEO of IBMS Group, commented; “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the world’s leading modular on-site hydrogen generation provider and playing our part in satisfying the increasing demand for carbon-neutral and negative hydrogen in the UK.”

“We look forward to launching the initial project next year and then rolling it out across multiple UK locations in the next few years to create a national network of carbon-negative hydrogen production facilities.”

Is all green hydrogen the same?

Typically when we think of green hydrogen, we picture electrolysers producing hydrogen gas via renewable electricity. However, there are other alternatives for producing renewable hydrogen.

Most of the industrial hydrogen today is produced via a process known as steam reforming, where a fossil fuel (most commonly natural gas, or methane) is mixed with steam at high temperatures to produce hydrogen gas and carbon dioxide. The technology which BayoTech is utilising is based upon methane steam reforming.

The release of CO2 in this process when using fossil natural gas is a net emission. However, if biomethane is substituted for the natural gas, net-zero emissions are possible allowing the hydrogen to be sustainably produced. Furthermore, capturing the resulting CO2 from a biomethane-based process can lead to carbon negative hydrogen production, which as mentioned above, is being planned for in the BayoTech/IMBS Group project.


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