Perspectives and Limitation of Biological Hydrogen Production
Paper given at the 11th World Hydrogen Energy Conference, Stuttgart, Germany, 23.6.-28.6.1996. As part of a hydrogen economy, biological production of hydrogen has a number of advantages over other H2 generation methods. Technical problems have limited its adoption. This paper considers whether biological hydrogen production is a feasible option for future energy systems. The prerequisites for biological hydrogen production and the impacts of the process are discussed. A linear optimization model was used to determine the contribution of hydrogen, given imposed CO2 emission restrictions and considering which applications solar hydrogen may replace existing energy technology. The use of hydrogen and biohydrogen would need to provide 24% of annual energy consumption to reduce CO2 emissions by 80% by 2040. Impacts of biohydrogen, including CH4, CO2 and water vapour emissions, biomass production, and health risks would need to be considered.