Researchers utilized tea waste to produce hydrogen fuel

Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world after water. Many people start their day with a cup of tea, and it's particularly delightful to have it in bed during the winter months. There are various types of tea, among which black tea and green tea are particularly famous.

Tea waste to produce hydrogen fuel

Facts about tea:

  • It is estimated that by 2025, the global tea market will reach $318 billion USD.
  • China leads the world in tea production, accounting for 40% of the total, followed by India at 23%.
  • The global market for green tea is projected to reach 3.6 million tons by 2027.

Why hydrogen energy?

The use of fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide, which is a major contributor to global warming. Therefore, hydrogen energy is considered an alternative, being a clean energy source. Many sustainable sources are being utilized for hydrogen energy, including converting plastic products into synthesis gas and using artificial photosynthesis to split water (H2O) into oxygen (O2) and hydrogen (H2).

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Boron-based hydrides as precursors for hydrogen fuel

Researchers and scientists are exploring various methods to produce hydrogen fuel. Recently, a group of researchers utilized waste tea leaves as a catalyst for hydrogen production. The authors emphasized that borane hydrides such as sodium borohydride (NaBH4), ammonia borane (NH3BH3), and potassium borohydride (KBH4) contain a significant amount of hydrogen. The authors further described the ethanolysis process, which aims to generate hydrogen in the presence of ethanol using these hydrides. 

How tea leaves waste utilized for hydrogen fuel generation?

To catalyze ethanolysis of Boron-based hydrides, they used waste black tea leaves and green tea leaves. Initially, scientists washed the leaves, treated them with acetic acid, and then heated them at high temperatures to convert them into carbon powder. Finally, they dried the carbon powder and tested both black tea leaves carbon powder and green tea leaves carbon powder.

Through their experiments, the authors determined the optimum amount of sodium borohydride, ethanol, and catalyst, as well as the hydrogen generation capacity and the time taken for both types of carbon powder. Researchers obtained promising results, highlighting the potential of this research for hydrogen generation as a clean fuel while also utilizing biomass as a sustainable source.

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Tea companies primarily use tea leaves for making tea, leaving behind a considerable amount of waste. Even after brewing green tea, a significant amount of waste is generated, which is often discarded. However, by utilizing this waste, the authors have conducted valuable research for hydrogen production.


Utilization of waste tea leaves as metal-free catalyst for hydrogengeneration via ethanolysis of Sodium Borohydride

Development of economic value‑added products from tea wasteby thermal and microbial process for environmental sustainability


I hold a doctorate in chemistry and have expertise in the intersection of organic and medicinal chemistry. My work primarily revolves around developing bioactive molecules with medicinal potential.

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