School of Engineering, Information Technology and Physical Sciences

System modelling of solar thermal biomass gasifier for hydrogen production in a wastewater treatment plant

Project Title:

System modelling of solar thermal biomass gasifier for hydrogen production in a wastewater treatment plant

Supervisory team:

Dr. Apurv Kumar, Dr. Alicia Reynolds and Assoc. Prof. Andrew Barton

Contact person:

Dr. Apurv Kumar (apurv.kumar@federation.edu.au)

Project outline:

To supplement the world’s increasing energy demand while mitigating humanities carbon footprint, renewable energy sources are looked upon favourably. In particular, a hydrogen fuelled economy has become an increasingly central component to government policies resulting in development of novel technology for hydrogen production has seen a dramatic increase. Conventional hydrogen production methods are mainly sourced by fossil fuels such as coal and are not “green”. The present project aims to design a novel syngas production system to utilise concentrated solar thermal (CST) technology for gasification of industrial and household biomass collected in a wastewater treatment plant. As solar energy is intermittent, supplementing and complementing energy needs by other renewable sources, or coupling the plant to a thermal storage system, is important to help balance and ‘smooth’ energy generation. The scope of this project focuses on system modelling of the process plant using  ASPEN, energy budgeting, techno-economic analysis and design of an integrated gasification-energy storage system to evaluate the feasibility of a commercial scale plant. Outcomes from the project will include further contributions to the science and engineering of solar generated biomass gas, development of engineering concepts at the commercial scale, and a feasibility report on hydrogen production using CST technology.