Among the various renewable energy sources, biohydrogen is gaining a lot of traction as it has very high efficiency of conversion to usable power with less pollutant generation.
The various technologies available for the production of biohydrogen from lignocellulosic biomass such as direct biophotolysis, indirect biophotolysis, photo, and dark fermentations have some drawbacks (e.g., low yield and slower production rate, etc.), which limits their practical application. Among these, metabolic engineering is presently the most promising for the production of biohydrogen as it overcomes most of the limitations in other technologies. Microbial electrolysis is another recent technology that is progressing very rapidly. However, it is the dark fermentation approach, followed by photo fermentation, which seem closer to commercialization.
Biohydrogen production from lignocellulosic biomass is particularly suitable for relatively small and decentralized systems and it can be considered as an important sustainable and renewable energy source. The comprehensive life cycle assessment (LCA) of biohydrogen production from lignocellulosic biomass and its comparison with other biofuels can be a tool for policy decisions.
In this paper, we discuss the various possible approaches for producing biohydrogen from lignocellulosic biomass which is an globally available abundant resource. The main technological challenges are discussed in detail, followed by potential solutions.