Hydrogen production from biomasses and wastes: A technological review

Biomass and organic solid waste are considered as very potential alternative energy sources in the future, leading to the realization of a clean and CO2-free energy system. Therefore, the effective conversion of biomass and organic solid waste to a secondary energy source is urgently demanded. In addition, hydrogen is considered very promising among the secondary energy sources due to its advantages of cleanliness, wide range of conversion and utilization technologies, high energy efficiency, and high gravimetric energy density. This paper reviews several possible routes and key conversion technologies of biomass and organic solid waste to hydrogen. Recent progress related to biological and thermochemical conversion technologies is described. Thermochemical route includes gasification, pyrolysis, steam reforming, partial oxidation, and thermochemical cycle; while biological route covers fermentation (dark and photo), biophotolysis (direct and indirect), enzymatic, and microbial electrolysis. In addition, several challenges regarding the conversion and utilization of biomass and organic solid waste to hydrogen are also discussed in order to clarify the feasibility of biomass and the organic solid waste-based hydrogen economy.