Biomass can be stored and converted into any form of energy. Hydrogen is a 'clean' energy source: its combustion produces only water and energy. A new, eco-friendly reservoir of hydrogen is required to achieve clean and sustainable energy production. Ethanol is a suitable biofuel in this respect, being easy to produce and safe to handle, transport and store. Bioethanol plays an important role as a promising renewable energy source due to its useful properties; it can also be converted to hydrogen-rich gas through a simple reforming process, and is potentially ideal for molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFCs). © 2014 Woodhead Publishing Limited All rights reserved.