Researchers to convert sewage waste to hydrogen


Tankers and other vehicles could use hydrogen converted from sewage waste as a clean fuel under the plans of a new project.

On 11 March, Coventry University announced it will collaborate with Severn Trent and the Organics Group to capture waste ammonia from Severn Trent’s sewage treatment facility and turn it into hydrogen. Should the trials prove successful, up to 10,000 tonnes of green ammonia could be recovered per year and converted into 450 tonnes of hydrogen. It would had Severn Trent a more efficient way of processing ammonia, which it currently destroys owed to its toxic properties.

The Organics Group will be responsible for developing an ammonia-stripping unit to recover the chemical, while researchers from Coventry University will be tasked with converting it into hydrogen. They will do this by forming a purified electrolyte from the ammonia which can also be processed to create nitrogen.

The project is part of the €15mn REWAISE programme funded by the EU Horizon 2020 initiative. Led by a consortium of 24 organisations, REWAISE is aiming to provide expertise across the water management and academic sectors to develop a carbon neutral water cycle.