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Purdue Northwest process to turn food waste into hydrogen under license from energy company

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A Purdue Northwest process to turn food waste into sustainable hydrogen has been licensed to an energy company.

The Purdue Research Foundation recently closed the deal with an international energy company to commercialize a new process discovered at Purdue University Northwest (PNW) for the biological production of hydrogen from food waste. A second license agreement with an Indiana company is currently being negotiated.

Purdue says the new process uses food waste to biologically produce hydrogen that can be used as a sustainable energy source for power generation, as well as for chemical and industrial processes or as a transportation fuel.

The research team consisting of Kramer, Libbie Pelter, associate professor of chemistry at PNW, and John Patterson, associate professor in the Department of Animal Science at Purdue West Lafayette, received five grants from the U.S. Department of Energy and Purdue Research Foundation totaling approximately $800,000 over the past eight years to develop the science and technology that led to the process. Two patents have been issued for this effort and a third patent is currently in the final stages of approval.

Over the next nine months, a scaling test will be performed. Based on the test results, it is expected that construction of the first commercial prototype could begin within a year.