Technological Centre

BIOPHOTO: Green hydrogen production from organic waste

CETIM is collaborating on the project by researching the photocatalysis process and studying advanced materials for hydrogen storage.

BIOPHOTO: Research into the production and storage of green hydrogen from organic waste.

The crisis in the energy sector, which began with an increase in gas and electricity prices in 2021, has evolved into a raw material supply crisis. Therefore, developing renewable alternatives such as hydrogen, that reduce dependence on other countries is imperative. Most of the hydrogen currently produced in Spain originates from the reforming of natural gas, resulting in CO2 emissions due to the use of fossil fuels—a situation that is unfavourable for the fight against climate change.

For this reason, CETIM will contribute to the development of technologies for producing green hydrogen from organic waste in the BIOPHOTO project, led by CETAQUA, which also includes Aquambiente Circular Economy Solutions and Orchestra Scientific.

Green hydrogen, also known as renewable hydrogen, is 100% sustainable as it does not emit polluting gases during its combustion or production process. This fuel is thus positioned as an unparalleled alternative to replace fossil fuels in sectors that are particularly challenging to decarbonise, contributing significantly to the fight against climate change.

BIOPHOTO, an example of energy and ecological transition

The objective of BIOPHOTO, financed by the Next Generation EU funds of the European Union, is to produce and store green hydrogen from organic waste using biological processes and photocatalysis. Specifically, CETIM will conduct research and optimisation of photocatalysis processes for the production of biohydrogen from liquid organic waste, as well as the search for materials for the storage of the energy vector.

The research spans from the identification, characterisation, and pre-treatment of organic waste to the production of this clean fuel by dark fermentation. Dark fermentation involves obtaining biohydrogen from organic waste in the absence of light through the combined action of anaerobic bacteria. BIOPHOTO will also carry out production by photocatalysis from liquid waste and its final purification to obtain high-quality hydrogen. Research into purification and storage systems for H2 is another of BIOPHOTO’s challenges. All of these efforts will enhance the absorption of CO2 and achieve efficient distribution and transport of this fuel.

In addition, the use of organic waste for hydrogen production will help to create a new value chain that, apart from producing clean energy, will make it possible to recover organic waste that could have an impact on the environment if it is not managed properly.

BIOPHOTO will have a duration of 30 months and is part of the Strategic Project for the Recovery and Economic Transformation (PERTE) of Renewable Energies, Renewable Hydrogen, and Storage (ERHA) of the Ministry for Ecological Transition.

For this reason, BIOPHOTO is a clear example of energy and ecological transition, contributing to the promotion of a clean, circular and decarbonised economy, in line with the objectives set at national and European level to achieve the goal of climate neutrality by 2050 (Zero Net Emissions 2050) by significantly reducing emissions.