Indore: A catalysis research team of the Indian Institute of Technology, Indore came up with a unique research of developing hydrogen gas from methanol-water. The team comprising of Mahendra K Awasthi and Rohit K Rai under the supervision of Dr Sanjay K. Singh, associate professor of chemistry, IIT Indore, has developed ruthenium catalysts for large scale production of H2 gas from methanol in water.
This method is very much in line with efforts of India towards clean energy, where purified hydrogen gas will be used as a fuel in H2-powered fuel-cell based vehicles. Notably, methanol can be produced from biomass waste and other sources, and the Government of India is also encouraging the production of methanol to be used as a gasoline blender.
"The developed process will provide a cleaner way for the utilization of methanol by producing hydrogen gas. Through this process, they succeeded in generating purified H2 gas, which can significantly lower down the purification cost," said Sunil Kumar, PRO, IIT Indore.
In addition, the developed process generates high content of hydrogen per molecule of methanol at a relatively lower temperature (< 150 °C). They have been working on this project for last 02 years, and currently, several projects on hydrogen production is under progress in their research group.
The research work is recently published in Catalysis Science and Technology, and the group has also filed a patent in this process, which is expected to be generated soon. Now, the group is exploring the possibility to scale-up this process in collaboration with industries.