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Taiwan university converts biomass into hydrogen at high rate
Central News Agency
2008-11-14 07:27 PM
Taiwan's Feng Chia University has succeeded in boosting the production of hydrogen from biomass to 15 liters per hour, one of the world's top biohydrogen production rates, a researcher at the university said Friday.

Lin Chiu-yu, dean of the Feng Chia College of Engineering, said at a news conference at the school's campus in Taichung City that the university began efforts in 1998 to use facultative anaerobic organisms to produce hydrogen gas, that could one day power fuel cells in cars and other devices.

In 2007, the university built Taiwan's first model system for the production of biomass energy, called the "Biomass Energy Pilot Plant," through which a research team managed to produce hydrogen and carbon dioxide from the fermentation of different strains of anaerobes in a sugar cane-based liquefied mixture.

Lin pointed out that so far, the plant's hydrogen production rate from biomass using a one-liter reactor has reached 15.09 liters per hour per liter of reactor volume, a world-class standard.

To date, the most efficient hydrogen producer has been the bacteria clostridium, said Chu Cheng-yung of the Feng Chia research team. The bacteria exists in largest quantities at wastewater treatment plants, he added.

Liu noted the plant controls patent pre-treatment technologies to screen out the perfect anaerobe for their search.

Feng Chia University Chief Secretary Lin Liang-tai said the plant has drawn visits from more than 40 experts from 15 countries around the world.

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