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Utilization of Food Waste for Hydrogen-based Power Generation: Evidence from Four Cities in Ghana


Hydrogen gas will be an essential energy carrier for global energy systems in the future. However, non-renewable sources account for 96% of the production. Food wastes have high hydrogen generation potential, which can positively influence global production and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The study evaluates the potential of food waste hydrogen-based power generation through biogas steam reforming and its environmental and economic impact in major Ghanaian cities. The results highlight that the annual hydrogen generation in Kumasi had the highest share of 40.73 kt, followed by Accra with 31.62 kt, while the least potential was in Tamale (3.41 kt). About 2073.38 kt was generated in all the major cities. Hydrogen output is predicted to increase from 54.61 kt in 2007 to 119.80 kt by 2030. Kumasi produced 977.54 kt of hydrogen throughout the 24-year period, followed by Accra with 759.76 kt, Secondi-Takoradi with 255.23 kt, and Tamale with 81.85 kt. According to the current study, Kumasi had the largest percentage contribution of hydrogen (47.15%), followed by Accra (36.60%), Secondi-Takoradi (12.31%), and Tamale (3.95%). The annual power generation potential in Kumasi and Accra was 73.24 GWh and 56.85 GWh. Kumasi and Accra could offset 8.19% and 6.36% of Ghana's electricity consumption. The total electricity potential of 3728.35 GWh could displace 17.37% of Ghana's power consumption. This electricity generated had a fossil diesel displacement capacity of 1125.90 ML and could reduce GHG emissions by 3060.20 kt CO2 eq. Based on the findings, the total GHG savings could offset 8.13% of Ghana's carbon emissions. The cost of power generation from hydrogen is $ 0.074/kWh with an annual positive net present value of $ 658.80 million and a benefit-to-cost ratio of 3.43. The study lays the foundation and opens policy windows for sustainable hydrogen power generation in Ghana and other African countries.

Funding source: Yuyun Bi was supported by The National Natural Science Foundation of China [41771569].
Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain

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