Start Machine for producing green hydrogen from ethanol or water will be installed at the University of São Paulo (USP)

Machine for producing green hydrogen from ethanol or water will be installed at the University of São Paulo (USP)

May 3, 2022 11:15 am to 11:15 am
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In a matter of six months, a machine producing the future fuel will be installed at the University of São Paulo (USP), says scientist – image: H2Energy/Reproduction

Researchers at the University of São Paulo (USP) will install a green hydrogen-producing machine that will use ethanol as a raw material and produce fuel for three buses at the university.

With global warming worrying everyone, green hydrogen comes in as a possible energy solution, as well as other sources of energy. renewable energy, such as solar, wind, biomass and others. The fuel of the future is not found in large quantities in nature, having to be produced through technology, making researchers from different sectors and energy companies work together in search of fuel. Today's highlight goes to the University City of the University of São Paulo (USP), which announced this Monday (2) that it will receive a machine for producing green hydrogen powered by ethanol within a few months.

Initiative at USP aims to produce green hydrogen from ethanol or water

According to Marcos Buckeridge, a leading scientist in the bioenergy sector and one of the coordinators of the Research Center for Innovation in Greenhouse Gases, in about six months the green hydrogen production machine will be installed near the Olympic lane.

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Buckeridge says that this is the first part of the planning and, soon after, three USP buses will be prepared to run on renewable fuel. The university researcher also points out that the great innovation of the initiative is that ethanol will be the raw material used to obtain the fuel, which will move buses around the campus of Cidade Universitária, in Butantã, in the west of São Paulo.

The technological trail developed at USP can be considered a pioneer in the whole world, as it is a research that makes up a larger initiative. One of the main missions of the center is to eliminate emissions from the sugarcane production chain or even make it negative in terms of emissions. Both from a scientific and technological point of view, hydrogen is only green when the raw material used at the beginning of the process is generated by a renewable source or biomass, as is the case with ethanol. Several vehicles from various parts of the world already use hydrogen, but they are fuels produced using natural gas.

In addition to ethanol, green hydrogen can be produced using only water

Another means of production fuel of the future it's from the water. In Brazil, the company EDP Brasil plans to open its first plant to produce green hydrogen by breaking water in the state of Ceará by the end of the year.

According to Buckeridge, in the case of USP's hydrogen-ethanol-producing machine, there is still a lot of scientific development to be done. The researcher explains that, in fact, the equipment is a ethanol reformer, which enters on one side and exits as hydrogen on the other. However, in the middle of the way, it is necessary to control all the chemical reactions of the process well, in addition to choosing the right chemical elements so that the catalytic reactions take place efficiently and accurately. 

Hydrogen-producing machine will also produce carbon monoxide

in the case of hydrogen producing machine, the reactions must still produce carbon monoxide, which cannot be released directly into the atmosphere. According to Buckeridge, USP plans to use this carbon monoxide in vegetable gardens, given that vegetables process carbon through photosynthesis.

In the case of the carbon generated by the machine, another line of research by USP scientists shows that it is possible to bury it in areas close to the plants at a depth of up to 4 km. Thus, carbon will react with other substances and become inert. As a result, the sugarcane chain may even have negative emissions in Brazil.

Source: new cane

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