Advancing Green Biohydrogen: Utilizing Degraded Land for Biomass Cultivation

Advancing Green Biohydrogen: Utilizing Degraded Land for Biomass Cultivation


The Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India chaired a strategic meeting to explore the potential of using degraded land for biomass cultivation, aimed at producing green biohydrogen.


GS-3 (Environment & Ecology)


  • The meeting brought together prominent representatives from various government ministries, knowledge partners, and research institutes.
  • The discussion focused on leveraging degraded, barren, and uncultivated lands for biomass cultivation, which would serve as the feedstock for green biohydrogen production.
  • This initiative marks the start of an extensive dialogue among stakeholders to develop a comprehensive action plan for enhancing green hydrogen production from biomass.
  • The National Green Hydrogen Mission has identified biomass-based green biohydrogen production as a critical area for pilot projects. The meeting sought to gather valuable insights on the availability of biomass and degraded land, pinpoint existing gaps and challenges in biomass cultivation, and strategize a roadmap for utilizing degraded land for green hydrogen production.

Green Hydrogen from Biomass:

  • Eco-Friendly Hydrogen Production: While hydrogen is recognized as a clean fuel, its environmental benefits are compromised when produced from fossil fuels. Conversely, hydrogen derived from renewable sources such as biomass is emission-free, making it a genuinely green fuel.
  • Sources of Biomass: Biomass includes a wide range of organic materials such as agricultural crop residues, forest residues, dedicated energy crops (like switchgrass and willow trees), organic municipal solid waste, and animal wastes. These materials can be converted into hydrogen through gasification processes.
  • Biomass Availability in India: India’s extensive agricultural sector provides a rich supply of biomass, presenting a significant opportunity for sustainable hydrogen production.


  • Economic Upliftment for Farmers: Utilizing agricultural residues for hydrogen production can provide farmers with additional income streams.
  • Air Quality Improvement: The use of biomass reduces the need for stubble burning, thereby decreasing air pollution.
  • Reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions: By substituting fossil fuels with biomass, greenhouse gas emissions can be significantly reduced.

Strategic Importance:

  • The initiative to produce green biohydrogen from biomass cultivated on degraded lands aligns with India’s broader goals of sustainable development and energy security.
  • This approach not only taps into the country’s agricultural potential but also addresses environmental concerns, providing a multifaceted solution to current energy and ecological challenges.
  • By integrating biomass cultivation on degraded lands with green hydrogen production, India is paving the way for a cleaner, more sustainable energy future. This strategic initiative showcases a balanced approach to economic, environmental, and social benefits, highlighting the country’s commitment to green energy innovations.