Bio-hydrogen plants (producing hydrogen from biomass)of 10,000 litre capacity each in Delhi,Hyderabad and , Kharagpur may be set up under a pilot project soon.
"A proposal for setting these up from the Department of Biotechnology , IIT Kharagpur, is being examined by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy", said Prof. Debabrata Das, from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.
In an interview, here today, Prof.Das who lead the team to isolate the micro organism which produces hydrogen from biomass said, "We have produced at the laboratory level 90 litres of hydrogen from 180 grams of glucose."
Hydrogen is the a unique energy source because there is no greenhouse gases, no Ozone depleting chemicals,no acid rain ingredients, no pollutants,he said.
Hydrogen when burnt produces water,he said. Hydrogen can be used as a fuel for running vehicles and for generation of electricity with help of fuel cells.
The demand and supply of fossil fuel which are going side by side now, will change by 2020 when the fossil fuel supply will sharply drop, he said. Renewable fuels which do not pollute the atmosphere will be required then, he added.
He said, studies show that the global renewable energy from just 8 per cent in 1979 jumped to 26 per cent by 2006. Studies also estimate its share to be more than double that of fossil fuel by 2060, he added.
Bio-hydrogen can be produced,he said, from carbohydrates like glucose,maltose,cellulose, cane molasses; energy crops like corn,wheat,straw; and from municipal solid waste,food waste, industrial waste, waste water.
One of the major advantage of bio hydrogen is that its production process does not require high energy to be utilized as it can take place in ambient temperature and atmospheric pressure,he said.
"Micro organisms can actually recover energy for use from industrial waste water and sewage sludge ,"he said.
The micro organism which has been isolated from a leaf by the IIT Kharagpur, Biotechnology Department team is named, "Enterobacter cloacae IIT-BT08"
Some micro organisms produce hydrogen only in the presence of light but this micro organism is not affected by light source and can be used 24 hours for producing hydrogen,he said.