Induced Bed Reactor (IBR) - Hydrogen Gas Production

Technical Summary

•  The induced bed reactor (IBR) is an improved digester that was originally developed for methane gas production and capture.  It has now been optimized to produce and capture other gases.  Dr. Conly Hansen of Utah State’s food sciences department has now used the digester to produce clean hydrogen gas for fuel use.

•  Researchers first enrich the original biomass with hydrogen-producing bacteria or spores. The mixture includes at least one type of hydrogen-producing bacteria and at least one type of competing bacteria.  The biomass is then treated with a sufficient amount of a chemical agent for a period of time such that the treatment (i) kills substantially all of the competing bacteria and (ii) does not kill the hydrogen-producing bacteria to form spores that are not destroyed during the chemical treatment.  The hydrogen-producing bacteria is optimized to overcome the competing bacteria (i.e. methanogens) and digest the organic substrates within the biomass to produce hydrogen gas.  The gas is then captured, collected, and stored for later use.


Commercial Applications

•  Hydrogen gas generation

•  Biomass waste management

•  Potential commercial partners:

•  Farmers and agriculture

•  Food processing plants


Competitive Advantages

•  Faster than conventional digesters (IBR takes 5 days instead of 30 days or more)

•  Smaller equipment footprint

•  Less expensive than complete mix method

•  More reliable than covered lagoon

•  Environmentally friendly

•  Waste can be reused to create energy on site

•  Processes most bio-solids



•  US Patent 7,540,961


Related Technologies

•  Induced Bed Reactor (IBR) – Methane Gas Production


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Christian Iverson
Utah State University
Conly Hansen