Corvus Energy awarded funding for the integration of ammonia cracker technology with Pelican Fuel Cell system.
ARPA-E GOPHURRS program awarding $34M to 12 projects to support undergrounding of grid

Brazil researchers produce hydrogen from vine shoots

Researchers from the University of São Paulo and Universidad de Jaén in Brazil have shown that hydrogen can be produced from vine shoots—the main waste generated during vine pruning in viticulture, with up to 2 tons generated per hectare annually. Their work evaluates, for the first time, the possibility of using vine shoots as a substrate for the fermentative H2 production, evaluating one type of each physical, chemical and biological pre-treatments in order to increase biofuel production.

Unlike other treatments that employ chemical or physical reagents, their process is more environmentally friendly, as it does not require recycling of waste products and does not release toxic compounds. It also increases hydrogen production up to almost 250% compared to other pretreatment methods, according to Juan Miguel Romero-García, one of the authors of a paper describing the work in the journal Industrial Crops and Products.


Rabelo et al.

Vine shoots are composed of cellulose (28–40%), hemicellulose (17–28%) and lignin (25–32%) in addition to extractives (∼3%). This residue has low economic value and very limited use, and it is generally destined for burning and soil disposal, the researchers said.

In the study, the team used physical pre-treatments by steam explosion (SE), chemical by organosolv (OS) and biological by laccase (LAC) to disrupt the vine shoot cell fiber and increase the biomass hydrolysis and fermentation into hydrogen.

After steam explosion, there was a slight decrease in cellulose and hemicellulose contents in biomass fibers, while a decrease in lignin content occurred after the organosolv pre-treatment.

There were no quantifiable changes after laccase pre-treatment; however, the enzyme-substrate oxidative reactions were favorable for hydrolysis and fermentation since an increase in soluble sugars and H2 production was observed with LAC vine shoots as substrate.

300.1 mL H2/L were obtained from raw material vine shoots, while 649.4, 399.8 and 749.7 mL H2/L were obtained from biomass pre-treated by SE, OS and LAC, respectively.

The researchers also evaluated the hydrolysis of pre-treated biomass by the addition of cellulase to improve H2 production. Higher amounts of H2 were obtained from hydrolyzed biomass in relation to non-hydrolyzed ones (154.2%, 602.0% and 167.1% more with SE, OS and LAC hydrolyzed, respectively).

In all cases, the mixed acid pathway was carried out by Clostridium butyricum, since acetic and butyric acids were produced.


  • Camila A.B. Silva Rabelo, Alfonso M. Vidal, Rocío Casanova-González, Juan Miguel Romero-García, Maria Bernadete A. Varesche, Inmaculada Romero, Eulogio Castro (2023) “Vine shoots pre-treatment strategies for improved hydrogen production and metabolites redistribution in Clostridium butyricum,” Industrial Crops and Products, Volume 204, Part B, doi: 10.1016/j.indcrop.2023.117317.



There are a number of waste streams which can be used for hydrogen production, including importantly plastics, as well as the current move to hydrogen from landfill and sewage.

The purist 'electricity, and only electricity' ignores a far more complex reality, where a number of tools and technologies are needed.


Who exactly are these purist 'electricity, and only electricity' people you keep referring to?

You should already know that most of the doubts about hydrogen are because of the technological and efficiency limitations. No one doubts that there are many use cases for clean hydrogen, especially as a replacement for fossil-derived hydrogen. Maybe in the future it can also replace fossil fuels directly in some applications.

The notion that hydrogen is being held-back because of a small caste of "electricity purists" is frankly absurd. I think you've misinterpreted legitimate concerns about the efficiency and cost of H2 cars (as compared to EVs that are available right now). Those people don't hate hydrogen, they just don't think it's currently a viable fossil fuel replacement.


@Bernard said:

' No one doubts that there are many use cases for clean hydrogen,'

Yeah they do. Check what some of the posters here have written.
Some think it simply a cover for fossil fuel production in any circumstances.

To be clear, I have nothing against healthy scepticism, and where it is possible usually favour the direct use of electricity.

That is not always possible though, so I am simply arguing in the same direction as yourself.


World's first liquid hydrogen powered evtol



Sounds lovely. The site seems to contain lots of flash graphics accompanied by booming music, and zero technical details!


Sometimes you just go: 'WoW!'

Here is a use for the oxygen produced as a by product of green hydrogen production which never entered my consciousness!

The developer and retail duo has also applied for a pilot project to oxygenate the Baltic Sea. Oxygen is a by-product of hydrogen production and can be used to oxygenate the waters surrounding the project, thereby contributing to restoring marine life in an area with oxygen deficiency.

“The energy hub Neptunus is one of the first of the next generation of wind farms. By producing renewable energy and hydrogen, Sweden will be able to secure energy for sectors that can’t be electrified,” said Emelie Zakrisson, head of offshore wind development in Sweden at OX2.

“The oxygen from the hydrogen production can also be used to oxygenate the bottom water in the Baltic Sea and improve biodiversity.”

Hydrogen project developers to date have given little focus to oxygen by-production, which could represent either an opportunity to reoxygenate so-called “dead zones” in the ocean or an additional revenue stream.

While Danish company Everfuel is one of the few to have signed a conditional offtake agreement for the O2 and French firm Lhyfe announced last month its participation in a project to inject oxygen into the Baltic Sea, most seem content to vent it into the atmosphere.

Roger Pham

No doubt Hydrogen economy will work eventually, however for now, the hydrogen economy will require substantial investment which can be a barrier for quick adoption. Near term renewable energy development can use bio-methane and bio-methanol made from waste biomass combined with green H2 to double the yield of the biomass.
The bio-methane made from combining biomass with green H2 can replace natural gas and petroleum fuels that can use existing extensive natural gas storage, handling, and distribution network. Trucks and cars are already developed to run on natural gas using combustion engines, so the adoption can be much quicker than hydrogen fuel cell means.

The major advantage of direct-use green H2 would be the use of liquid H2 in aviation wherein the extremely light-weight of the LH2 and higher efficiency in combustion engine can double the payload-mile efficiency of LH2 for a given unit of fuel energy.

The comments to this entry are closed.