Scientists are investigating green ways to manage the nation’s growing waste problems.
According to scientists in Bangladesh, it is possible to generate 18.22 million tons of clean hydrogen fuel from millions of tons of annual waste. If it turns out to be possible, it is estimated that the move could lower the country’s fossil fuel energy import bill, which is presently Tk 614.77 billion ($7.2 billion).
The country has over 227 million tons of waste annually.
The waste management problem in Bangladesh is severe and transforming some of it into clean hydrogen fuel is one of the ways in which scientists are exploring to help the government manage it.
Bangladesh joins other countries including Australia, Japan, Germany, Japan and South Korea that are making a strong push to implement this eco-friendly fuel into their economies.
A pilot project on a hydrogen power plant is reportedly already underway in Bangladesh. The Tk 489 million ($5.7 million) hydrogen energy research project commenced in 2017 and is expected to generate hydrogen from 2021.
The plan is to generate 5 megawatts (MW) of power from the hydrogen produced in June 2020 to meet the demand for the research plant and later supply it to the nation’s energy grid.
The clean hydrogen fuel will be produced from urban biomass.
Hydrogen liquid and hydrogen gas will be produced from urban biomass using a photo catalisation method. Poly waste, household waste and natural waste (e.g. leaves, twigs, etc.) and natural water can be used to produce the hydrogen. It is believed that 0.10 kg of hydrogen can be produced from a liter of water through photocatalysis, which is expected to cost from $2 to $8 per kilogram.
“Use of hydrogen will reduce the dependence on coal,” Power Cell Director General Mohammad Hossain told bdnews24.com.
The goal of the hydrogen lab is to find out how much power can be supplied to the national grid. Scientists in the country, including Dipti Saha, the head of Applied Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Department in Dhaka University, are urging the Ministry of Science and Technology to invest further into clean hydrogen fuel research.