Why dump food waste when it can be converted into clean hydrogen?

Why dump food waste when it can be converted into clean hydrogen?

May 28, 2024 0 By Tami Hood

Converting food waste into sustainable hydrogen production is the goal of a new collaboration.

Empire Diversified Energy and Heartland Water Technology will be working with Empire Green Generation (Empire’s wholly-owned subsidiary) to convert food waste into clean hydrogen and sustainable carbon in a state-of-the-art facility that the companies plan to develop.

Giving waste a new “clean” life.

The waste-to-hydrogen facility that Empire and Heartland intend to build is part of the Department of Energy’s Appalachian Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub (ARCH2). The waste-to-energy project will incorporate multiple technical steps into a unified process.

This process begins with the food waste being treated in an anaerobic digester to produce biogas and digestate. From there, HelioStorm™, Heartland’s propriety ultra-high temperature ionic gasifier, will produce clean hydrogen and sustainable carbon, via methane pyrolysis of the biogas. As for the digestate (residual solid material), it will be processed through Heartlands’ proprietary LTC Dry™ and HelioStorm™ gasifiers in a parallel pathway to generate a synthesis gas that is free of tar and ultra-pure. This resulting gas will be used to produce clean energy to power this entire food waste to hydrogen conversion system, which decreases reliance on fossil fuels and the energy grid.

Clean hydrogen, a “cornerstone for future sustainability goals”.

Heartland CEO Chris Beaufait said in a recent company news release that the waste-to-energy project underscores the vital role renewable hydrogen plays in “shaping a sustainable, circular economy.”

Clean hydrogen energy - sustainable and circular

Beaufait explained that hydrogen isn’t a mere energy carrier, “it represents a cornerstone for future sustainability goals, offering a path to decarbonize industries and energize communities in an environmentally responsible manner.”

The food waste to clean hydrogen project is slated to start operations in the third quarter of 2025.

The ARCH2 hydrogen hub.

hydrogen news ebookARCH2 will be a hub for creating clean hydrogen energy infrastructure in the Appalachian region. Its mission is to use the lowest-cost natural gas as primary feedstock to allow and sustain a regional hydrogen economy across various end-use sectors in the Appalachian region, while guaranteeing that all economic benefits are equally and fairly shared among local communities.

“The ARCH2 hydrogen hub is a beacon of innovation and leadership in the renewable energy sector,” said Empire COO Bernard Brown.

Brown added that through ARCH2, Empire’s goal is to show how “strategic investments in decentralized hydrogen infrastructure and technology can yield significant environmental and economic benefits.”

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