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From spuds to fuel: Researchers develop hydrogen fuel from potato peelings, waste products

Researchers at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) in Canada are developing a new method to produce hydrogen from waste materials, which could lead to a more sustainable and cost-effective alternative to traditional hydrogen production methods, as Nancy Russell reports for CBC News.

The project, led by Yulin Hu – an assistant professor in the Faculty of Sustainable Design Engineering at UPEI – is focused on extracting hydrogen from waste products such as used plastics and agricultural waste, including potato peelings.

The potato idea has captured a lot of interest, coming from a province that is known for its spuds. The process involves using a catalyst to break down the waste materials and release hydrogen gas. This method not only provides a way to produce hydrogen but also helps in managing waste. The research team at UPEI is currently working on optimizing the process and scaling it up for industrial use.

Hydrogen is considered a clean fuel because it produces water when burned, rather than greenhouse gases. However, most hydrogen is currently produced using fossil fuels, which negates its environmental benefits. The UPEI research offers a promising alternative by using waste as a resource, aligning with global efforts to reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainable energy sources.

This innovative approach has the potential to transform the energy sector and contribute to a greener economy. The researchers are hopeful that their work will lead to commercial applications and help Canada meet its climate targets.

Source: CBC News. Read the full story here
Photo: Yulin Hu, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Sustainable Design Engineering at UPEI, is one of the researchers looking for new ways to produce hydrogen to replace fossil fuels and combat the impacts of climate change. Credit Shane Hennessey/CBC

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