India’s ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) has released a draft R&D roadmap for the green hydrogen ecosystem. The roadmap recommends research and development actions to improve the efficiency, reliability, and cost-effectiveness of green hydrogen production, storage, and transportation as the nation aims to become a global hub of green hydrogen.
“Hydrogen technologies across the value chain are currently under development. Mature technologies like electrolyzers, fuel cells, and carbon composite cylinders are not yet cost-competitive with alternatives; other upcoming technologies promising lower costs are yet to prove long-term performance. The aim is to design affordable, efficient, safe, and reliable pathways,” states the draft document.
The draft roadmap—prepared by experts from the government, industry, and academia—recommends R&D priorities with respective performance targets under three categories: mission mode, grand challenge, and blue sky.
In mission mode, early-stage research action with a 0-5 years impact horizon will be taken up. The draft recommends low PGM catalyst/electrode development for reduced cost, improved performance, and increased durability of PEM electrolyzers; AEM electrocatalyst development with faster oxygen evolution reaction (OER) kinetics and catalyst activity; and development of SOEC electrolyzers and feedstock-agnostic biomass gasification technology for hydrogen production on mission mode.
In the grand challenge category, projects with a mid-term (0 – 8 years) impact horizon will be taken up with a focus on demonstration actions for encouraging start-ups and industries to grow. For hydrogen production, the draft recommends the development of an anion exchange membrane (AEM) electrolyzer and power-to-gas/co-electrolysis technology with solid-oxide electrolyzer (SOEC), demonstration of biomass gasification-based hydrogen generation, compact bio-methane reformers for decentralized hydrogen generation, and integrated net carbon-negative solutions projects in this category.
Under the ‘blue sky’ category, projects with a long-term (0 – 15 years) impact horizon would be taken up with a focus on establishing global IP and competitive advantage for the Indian industry. The following projects are recommended for consideration: seawater electrolysis for hydrogen production; photoelectrochemical water splitting; thermochemical water splitting and integration with nuclear/ solar heat source; microbial electrolysis system for hydrogen production; and novel technologies for the conversion of biomass to hydrogen.
Similarly, the draft provides R&D recommendations for hydrogen storage, transport, and end-use applications.
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