Government launches pilot plant for renewable hydrogen from ethanol at USP


Governor Tarcísio de Freitas reinforced this Thursday (10th), in the capital, the commitment of the state administration to place São Paulo at the forefront of energy transition and development of new green energy technologies. He announced the launch of the first fueling station for renewable hydrogen using ethanol in the world, in partnership between USP and the São Paulo Research Foundation (Fapesp) and private companies in the segment.

“It makes us very proud to know that the first reformer on this scale being carried out in the world, transforming ethanol into hydrogen, is being carried out here in Brazil, here in São Paulo and here at the University of São Paulo. What the world is looking for, we are one step ahead”, said Tarcísio.

“We are going to structure the legislation, regulatory frameworks and encourage this production so that we gain scale and São Paulo, in fact, is a leader in the energy transition that will reduce our carbon footprint and set an example of sustainability and circular economy. I am very happy to witness the effort, talent and creativity of our Brazilian researcher, our researcher from São Paulo”, reinforced the governor.

The presentation also brought together the state secretary of Science, Technology and Innovation, Vahan Agopyan, the dean of USP, Carlos Gilberto Carlotti Júnior, and the president of FAPESP, Marco Antonio Zago, in addition to representatives of the companies that helped finance the project.

The survey is conducted by the Research Center for Innovation in Greenhouse Gases, which brings together professionals and researchers from the public sector and the private sector. The project has no commercial objectives and brings together investments in excess of R$ 182 million.

“We are fulfilling our obligation as a State, which is to seek interaction between the actors, and here we have the university, the government and companies working together with tangible results in sustainability, social and economic viability”, said the secretary Vahan Agopyan.

The plant has a building, facilities and equipment to produce 5kg/hour of hydrogen from ethanol in the first half of 2024. Production will supply three buses and a sedan car powered by fuel cells that generate electricity internally from hydrogen.

The vehicles will circulate on campus, providing more sustainability and self-sufficiency for USP – the forecast is that the first vehicle will be used later this year. The project has funding and participation from energy and automotive companies and the National Industrial Learning Service (Senai). The buses were provided by the Metropolitan Company of Urban Transport of São Paulo (EMTU), of the State Government.

The Research Center for Innovation in Greenhouse Gases has the mission of supporting Brazil in reducing the emission of greenhouse gases and in complying with the NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions) on climate change, taking into account the peculiarities and leadership of Brazil in Bioenergy, Agriculture and Environment. The center, headquartered at USP, has activities based on three pillars: research, innovation and dissemination of knowledge.


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