Life cycle assessment of waste-to-hydrogen systems for fuel cell electric buses in Glasgow, Scotland

Jade Lui, William Sloan, Manosh C. Paul, David Flynn, Siming You*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


Waste-to-hydrogen (WtH) technologies are proposed as a dual-purpose method for simultaneous non-fossil-fuel based hydrogen production and sustainable waste management. This work applied the life cycle assessment approach to evaluate the carbon saving potential of two main WtH technologies (gasification and fermentation) in comparison to the conventional hydrogen production method of steam methane reforming (SMR) powering fuel cell electric buses in Glasgow. It was shown that WtH technologies could reduce CO2-eq emissions per kg H2 by 50–69% as compared to SMR. Gasification treating municipal solid waste and waste wood had global warming potentials of 4.99 and 4.11 kg CO2-eq/kg H2 respectively, which were lower than dark fermentation treating wet waste at 6.6 kg CO2-eq/kg H2 and combined dark and photo fermentation at 6.4 kg CO2-eq/kg H2. The distance emissions of WtH-based fuel cell electric bus scenarios were 0.33–0.44 kg CO2-eq/km as compared to 0.89 kg CO2-eq/km for the SMR-based scenario.

Original languageEnglish
Article number127464
JournalBioresource Technology
Early online date11 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • Fuel cell electric buses
  • Hydrogen
  • Life cycle assessment
  • Net zero development
  • Waste-to-hydrogen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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