Petrobras launches hydrogen-to-energy labs

Monday, July 21, 2014

Brazil's federal energy major Petrobras has launched a study into the use of hydrogen for fuel and electric power generation.

The initiative is the result of a joint venture with local Universidade de Caxias do Sul and aims to produce hydrogen from agri-industrial residue, Petrobras said in a statement.

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Three new laboratories have already begun developing the technology in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, with investments so far totaling 2.6mn reais (US$1.2mn).

"The project seeks to produce hydrogen from ethanol production and glycerol from biodiesel," Petrobras said.

"These raw materials are biodegraded without major damage to the environment for obtaining hydrogen as a principal gas."

Hydrogen can be generated from the gasification of sugarcane bagasse or fossil fuels such as natural gas.

According to Petrobras, the element is currently used as a fuel for rocket propulsion due to its light weight and compactness.

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