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Producing Pure Hydrogen with Nearly Zero CO2 Emissions

The University of Manchester will spearhead an international team in developing and demonstrating a new technique for producing syngas and pure hydrogen with nearly zero direct CO2 emissions.

Greener energy city. Image Credit: The University of Manchester

This £ 5.1 million collaborative project, part of the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP), is funded by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero and includes five world-leading industrial partners in the field of engineering for sustainable development: Johnson Matthey, TotalEnergies OneTech, Kent, Helical Energy, and Element Energy.

The RECYCLE project at The University of Manchester will build and test a completely integrated novel hydrogen production pilot unit.

The method is based on chemical looping reforming with fixed bed reactors, allowing modular units and cost-effective solutions for hydrogen generation utilizing various feedstocks, as well as intrinsic carbon dioxide capture and separation at high purity.

The final demonstration is scheduled for the second half of 2024 at the pilot section of The University of Manchester’s James Chadwick Building.

The United Kingdom is spearheading the industrial revolution to attain carbon neutrality by 2050. According to the UK government’s recently released Powering Up Britain: Energy Security Plan, the UK government expects to have two gigatons of low-carbon hydrogen production capacity in operation or construction by 2025, and 10 gigatons by 2030, subject to affordability and value for money.

In this context, Manchester’s RECYCLE project represents a chance to demonstrate ongoing innovation in the creation of robust and cost-effective solutions for a low-carbon future.

The feasibility study carried out during Phase 1 demonstrated great potential for low carbon hydrogen in the UK market and it has huge implications for several industrial stakeholders. This project will demonstrate its feasibility at a pre-commercial scale to increase awareness of the next steps towards commercial implementation.

Dr. Vincenzo Spallina, Senior Lecturer, The University of Manchester

Dr. Vincenzo Spallina is the Principal Investigator of the RECYCLE project.

Dr. Vincenzo Spallina adds, “The demonstration plant will be installed in the James Chadwick Building where we are currently renovating the existing pilot hall area to establish the Sustainable Industrial Hub for Research and Innovation on sustainable process technologies. Our students will have the fantastic opportunity to see the next-generation hydrogen plant in operation as a unique teaching and learning experience.”

Our University is committed to achieving zero carbon emissions by 2038 as part of its Environmental Sustainability Strategy and supported by activity through our Advanced Materials and Energy research beacons. This collaborative project will boost the prestige of our academic community to secure clean and sustainable development through Science and Innovation in close partnerships with industries.

Alice Larkin, Professor and Head, School of Engineering, The University of Manchester


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