Brazilian co-ops to explore producing green hydrogen from animal waste

The potential total production capacity is around 275 tonnes of hydrogen energy per day

Two Brazilian co-ops have partnered with German government and businesses on a green hydrogen project that could produce 275 tonnes of green energy every day.

Coopersan and Ambicoop, based in Paraná in southern Brazil, signed an agreement for the public-private partnership last month, which will look at the feasibility of a hydrogen plant.

The project will convert methane gas from animal waste into sustainable energy through the recycling of pig manure.

The initiative is supported by the H2Uppp programme, a 2.3 million euros programme commissioned by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) and implemented by German co-operation agency Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

Dr Markus Francke, director of hydrogen at GIZ Brazil, said: “The project is a good example of the international efforts supported by the German government to promote alternatives to fossil fuels. The production and use of green hydrogen and derivatives supports the energy transition and also sustainable market development in Brazil and worldwide.”

Also partnering on the project is German company the mele Group, based in Torgelow, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania).

The mele Group’s managing director, Dietrich Lehmann, described the project as a “win-win situation” that is “part of the reorganisation of energy supply and security in Germany and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

“Special thanks go to GIZ/H2Uppp, without whose contribution the project could not have been realised, on the one hand, and to the state government, on the other hand, which has opened doors for this in Brazil.”

Hydrogen derivatives can be used as fuel for various means of transport such as land, water and air vehicles, and are emerging as a key element for the decarbonisation of industry, particularly in sectors that are difficult to decarbonise.

For farmers, the tech offers the potential of total energy independence, rural decarbonisation and solves the problem of intermittent energy supply through the creation of hydrogen fuel.

In the UK, the James Hutton Institute, a research centre and farm in Scotland, has been awarded funding for a feasibility study into green hydrogen, as Scotland’s government says it wants to make Scotland a “a leading hydrogen nation”.

Danish dairy co-op Arla  is also trialling green hydrogen.

Head of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania’s chancellery, Patrick Dahlemann, said of the Brazil-Germany partnership: “The years of preparation are paying off. The project partners are realising the connection between climate protection and the economy for the benefit of both sides.”

Dahlemann said that the project represents “the beginning of a long-term co-operation that is to serve the further development of the energy and climate partnership between Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Paraná in Brazil.”

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