Research Topic

Cost-Effective and Environmentally Benign Production of Hydrogen using Advanced Gasification

About this Research Topic

Currently, over 85% of global energy is produced from fossil fuels, which are responsible for over 76% of current emissions. The interest of policymakers has recently turned towards hydrogen energy; however there are a number of challenges with this. Using conventional techniques to generate hydrogen results in lower efficiency but higher emission and cost.


This Research Topic will explore how hydrogen energy and other valuable products can be extracted efficiently with zero carbon footprint by using renewable sources like biomass. Currently, there are not many cost-effective technologies for the production of hydrogen, particularly using renewable sources, which is between 3.5-7.0 USD/kg H2. Methane reforming techniques are the most cost effective, with a cost of 0.9-3.2 USD/kg and producing over 95% of hydrogen. However, this technique produces emissions of 7.0-8.5 kg CO2/kg H2 without CCS. Undoubtedly, the conversion of CH4 into H2 is not a long-term solution because CH4 itself is a high-value energy source.


As a long-term solution and reliable source for the production of hydrogen, advanced gasification of biomass, waste and coal with CCS has the potential to produce cost effective and reliable hydrogen in an environmentally friendly manner. Biomass is abundant and renewable, highly reactive but with less emission. In addition, the use of coal for the production of hydrogen using gasification techniques must be integrated with the CCS system. Currently, coal gasification provides 18% of the total hydrogen in the world, and is the second-largest and most cost-effective way of producing hydrogen. CO2 gasification is another application, but one which is yet to be implemented commercially. 


Gasifying waste has several advantages, including the production of value-added fuels and chemical and most importantly reducing the hazardous landfill. Currently, over 2.0 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) is generated each year and this is expected to increase to 3.4 billion tonnes annually by 2050. Unfortunately, about 40% of the total waste in the developed countries still goes to landfill. Therefore, it is vital to understand and manage these wastes and recover value-added products, where government policy, as well as individual stakeholders, may play a crucial role.


This Research Topic seeks to present studies focused on the production of hydrogen and other valuable chemicals from biomass, coal and waste using steam, oxygen and CO2 reactants via co-gasification techniques. The themes of interest include (but are not limited to):

• gasification of carbonaceous fuels

• steam methane reforming (SMR)

• electrolysis

• liquid fuel reforming

• carbon capture and storage

• storage/transportation of hydrogen

• operational and safety constraints for hydrogen storage and transportation

• cost effective integration of hydrogen energy into the energy system


Keywords: Hydrogen Generation, Gasification of Carbonaceous Fuels, Coal and Biomass Gasification, Steam Methane Reforming, Electrolysis, Liquid Fuel Reforming, Carbon Capture and Storage


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Currently, over 85% of global energy is produced from fossil fuels, which are responsible for over 76% of current emissions. The interest of policymakers has recently turned towards hydrogen energy; however there are a number of challenges with this. Using conventional techniques to generate hydrogen results in lower efficiency but higher emission and cost.


This Research Topic will explore how hydrogen energy and other valuable products can be extracted efficiently with zero carbon footprint by using renewable sources like biomass. Currently, there are not many cost-effective technologies for the production of hydrogen, particularly using renewable sources, which is between 3.5-7.0 USD/kg H2. Methane reforming techniques are the most cost effective, with a cost of 0.9-3.2 USD/kg and producing over 95% of hydrogen. However, this technique produces emissions of 7.0-8.5 kg CO2/kg H2 without CCS. Undoubtedly, the conversion of CH4 into H2 is not a long-term solution because CH4 itself is a high-value energy source.


As a long-term solution and reliable source for the production of hydrogen, advanced gasification of biomass, waste and coal with CCS has the potential to produce cost effective and reliable hydrogen in an environmentally friendly manner. Biomass is abundant and renewable, highly reactive but with less emission. In addition, the use of coal for the production of hydrogen using gasification techniques must be integrated with the CCS system. Currently, coal gasification provides 18% of the total hydrogen in the world, and is the second-largest and most cost-effective way of producing hydrogen. CO2 gasification is another application, but one which is yet to be implemented commercially. 


Gasifying waste has several advantages, including the production of value-added fuels and chemical and most importantly reducing the hazardous landfill. Currently, over 2.0 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) is generated each year and this is expected to increase to 3.4 billion tonnes annually by 2050. Unfortunately, about 40% of the total waste in the developed countries still goes to landfill. Therefore, it is vital to understand and manage these wastes and recover value-added products, where government policy, as well as individual stakeholders, may play a crucial role.


This Research Topic seeks to present studies focused on the production of hydrogen and other valuable chemicals from biomass, coal and waste using steam, oxygen and CO2 reactants via co-gasification techniques. The themes of interest include (but are not limited to):

• gasification of carbonaceous fuels

• steam methane reforming (SMR)

• electrolysis

• liquid fuel reforming

• carbon capture and storage

• storage/transportation of hydrogen

• operational and safety constraints for hydrogen storage and transportation

• cost effective integration of hydrogen energy into the energy system


Keywords: Hydrogen Generation, Gasification of Carbonaceous Fuels, Coal and Biomass Gasification, Steam Methane Reforming, Electrolysis, Liquid Fuel Reforming, Carbon Capture and Storage


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

13 June 2021 Abstract
01 November 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

13 June 2021 Abstract
01 November 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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