MRO Magazine

Coventry University and Severn Trent partner to convert sewage waste into hydrogen


Environment

March 12, 2021
By Maryam Farag


Industries

Researchers from Coventry University are collaborating with Severn Trent and the Organics Group to turn sewage waste into a clean fuel for tankers and other vehicles.

This project will look to capture waste ammonia from Severn Trent’s sewage treatment facility and turn it into a valuable green fuel.

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.

“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.” said Peter Vale, Technical Lead, Severn Trent’s Innovation team.

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The Organics Group will be responsible for developing an ammonia-stripping unit, recovering the chemical from the sewage waste at Severn Trent’s facility. Coventry University researchers will then seek to convert this into hydrogen by forming a purified electrolyte from the ammonia, which could be processed to create nitrogen and hydrogen gas.

“We are delighted to be part of this ground-breaking initiative with Severn Trent and Organics Group,” said John Graves, Associate Professor, Institute for Future Transport and Cities, and is leading the university’s contribution. “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.”