Green Hydrogen and Platform Chemicals from Agricultural Residues (AGRI-WASTE2H2)

The efficient utilisation of bio-based resources is essential for a sustainable future, particularly for achieving a carbon-neutral society.

Modern agriculture, a cornerstone of food production systems, stands for a significant share of the global energy demand and CO2 emissions. In addition, the sector generates extensive side-streams such as husks, peels, and straw, that remain underutilised.

AGRI-WASTE2H2 aims to change this paradigm by converting such agricultural side-streams into valuable products by development of new electrochemical processes. As such, our research will provide tools for extracting more value from existing bio-based feedstocks by means of (renewable) electricity, enabling the production of sustainable materials, chemicals, and fuels for various industries.

Our developments will improve the energy efficiency in the agricultural sector by enhancing its output and reducing the dependence on fossil feedstocks for said product categories, thereby benefitting a green societal transition.

AGRI-WASTE2H2 will focus on straw-derived cellulose – an abundant but underexploited agricultural side-product – as feedstock in an advanced electrolysis process, tailored for enhanced efficiency in the production of green hydrogen with significantly reduced energy consumption compared to standard water electrolysis. This advance aligns with the Hydrogen Economy strategy in Europe and the Nordic-Baltic region and will make a substantial contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, the process will concurrently produce valuable platform chemicals. Here, the key target is glucaric acid, a compound with a wide range of industrial applications, including as a precursor for bio-based nylons and polyesters, which are currently dependent on non-renewable feedstocks. 

This ambitious project is a collaborative endeavour, leveraging unique expertise and resources in the Nordic-Baltic region, renowned for its commitment to renewable energy and sustainable technologies. AGRI-WASTE2H2 represents a significant step towards a more sustainable future, offering significant benefits for society, the environment, and the economy.