Brazil has a number of innovative projects to manufacture the new fuel for the energy transition by utilizing local characteristics on the low-carbon hydrogen route.

The iH2 Brazil program, run by the Brazil-Germany Alliance for Green Hydrogen, chose eight pilot projects created at Brazilian universities to be carried out in 2023 with the financial support of up to 1.2 million euros.

Germany is investing in developing nations that have the potential to be significant sources of clean energy for the rest of the globe. And thus it portrays itself as a priority consumer while shaping the contours of this market.

Here, those selected to receive subsidies try to respond to particular constraints in production and consumption.

For instance, a team at the Federal University of Ceará (UFC) is creating a hybrid system that combines microbial electrolysis, desalination cells, and glycerol vapor reform.

In order to lessen the competition for water resources, it is intended to develop a pathway that makes use of wastewater and glycerol, a by-product of biodiesel production.

“Green hydrogen must be a solution for both energy and water security, as ordinary electrolysis uses a lot of pure water. We must consider the scarcity that the state will eventually experience while we are in Ceará “Professor Fernanda Leite of the UFC Hydrogen Laboratory adds.

The state combines a number of agreements and feasibility studies for big business investments in Pecém’s hydrogen hub.

Researchers at the University of Bahia (UFBA) are investigating novel, inexpensive materials to increase the effectiveness of biogas utilization in H2 production.

The idea of mixing two greenhouse gases (methane and CO2) to produce green hydrogen is seen as strategically important by the researchers.

One of the causes is that today’s primary method for producing hydrogen known as ash is the reforming of natural gas.

By overcoming a few technical obstacles, biogas reform can provide environmentally friendly, low-carbon hydrogen.

“Now, biogas is used to generate electricity and heat, and it can be refined to produce biomethane, which is then utilized as fuel and injected into the gas network. Yet, the most favorable energy use would be to reform biogas, “says UFBA Professor Karen Pontes.

It’s an opportunity to integrate agriculture into this new energy market and decentralize the supply of H2, directing large-scale production to regions with abundant biomass.

The Federal University of Paraná (UFPR) submitted a different concept that was chosen by iH2, and it calls for using fuel cells to provide decentralized electricity. Rural biogas will be used to create green hydrogen.

Public consumption

According to a McKinsey analysis, Brazilian green hydrogen generation might bring in $15 billion to $20 billion by 2040.

The domestic market, particularly heavy transportation, steel production, and other energy-intensive industries, would receive about half of this value.

The H2 appears as a decarbonization solution for heavy transport that doesn’t necessarily eliminate combustion engines.

Two projects approved in iH2 Brazil target the category

One of them, from PUC-Rio, has a collaboration with Mercedes Benz, which will provide the car to assess the effects of gradually substituting hydrogen for diesel oil on energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions.

“Analyzing how hydrogen promotes decarbonization is the goal. to a to docs & & to & & & & & to “Professor Florian Pradelle of the PUC-Rio Institute of Mobility and Renewables states.

The amount of hydrogen that can be used with diesel without switching engines is being investigated by researchers.

Sized-up projects

According to Wood Mackenzie’s poll, the slowing in the pipeline for the hydrogen project towards the end of 2022 was countered by a record number of advertisements for the production of electrolyzers.

The total capacity announced reached 71.4 million tons per year (Mtpa) in 2022, up from a record 12 Mtpa of advertisements in the first quarter. A weak fourth quarter allowed 2022 to surpass three tons as a record year.

The production of electrolyzing, which appeared to be a bottleneck a year ago, increased to a maximum of 45 GW stated.

According to Flor Lucia De la Cruz, an analyst at WoodMac, “Interestingly, while 95% of manufacturing operational capacity is in Europe, China, and the U.S., 41% of advertisements are going to Africa.”

It was also the year of green ammonia, which won 27% of the advertising and became the preferred derivative.

Potential in the Northeast

According to the Electric Energy Trade Chamber, Brazil’s Northeast is one of the country’s primary advantages for advancing in the renewable hydrogen market, producing more than 9,200 average megawatts of wind and solar power in January (CCEE).

With 2,959 average MW of wind generation in January, Rio Grande do Norte was the top state for the network, followed by Bahia (2,477 MWm), and Ceará (1,009 MWm).

Bahia led the way in photovoltaic solar generation with 393 MWm, followed by Piau (276 MWm), and Ceará (171 MWm).

64 billion R$

According to a Greener survey, the Brazilian market will need more than 17 GW of solar modules in 2022, requiring expenditures of more than R$ 64 billion for both distributed and centralized generation. In comparison to the same period last year, which saw 10.3 GW, the growth was 73%.

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