Coventry University and partners to convert sewage waste into hydrogen

hydrogen market
Image credit: Sebastian Leesch,123rf

In the UK, the University of Coventry has partnered with water services company Severn Trent and ammonia recovery technology firm Organics Group to produce hydrogen using sewage waste.

The three parties will be using funding secured from the REWAISE project, a €15 million initiative funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme.

Severn Trent will provide its sewage processing facility and technologies to capture waste ammonia present in sewage.

The Organics Group will be responsible for developing an ammonia-stripping unit, recovering the chemical from the sewage waste at Severn Trent’s facility.

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Researchers from Coventry University will convert the captured ammonia into hydrogen by forming a purified electrolyte from the ammonia.

If trials are successful, Severn Trent has the potential to recover up to 10,000 tonnes of green ammonia from its wastewater treatment plants, which could be converted into 450 tonnes of hydrogen.

The hydrogen produced will be used for tankers and other vehicles.

Dr John Graves, associate professor at the Institute for Future Transport and Cities, who is leading the university’s contribution, said: “The project will enable us to demonstrate that ammonia, which to date has had to be regarded as a waste product, could be processed in a more environmentally-friendly manner with the benefit of producing hydrogen, which has a number of useful applications. These include its use as a potential fuel for heavy vehicles that may not be suited to battery electrification.”

Peter Vale, technical lead in Severn Trent’s Innovation team, adds: “We are thrilled to be collaborating with Coventry University and Organics Group on this potentially transformative project that will help us move towards a more circular approach to treating wastewater on our sites, and deliver on our net-zero carbon commitments.”

Patrick McGlead, Resilient Water Innovation for Smart Economy (REWAISE) project lead at Organics Group said: “Organics is overjoyed to be involved and very much looking forward to applying our ammonia recovery expertise and technology to this innovative project.” à‚ à‚ à‚ 

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