4 Oct 2022
In what is thought to be an industry first, hydrogen experts Logan Energy have been chosen to play a key role in a ground-breaking project designed to cut the carbon emissions associated with wastewater treatment processes.
East Lothian-based Logan Energy are supplying and installing an electrolyser at a wastewater treatment plant in Cambridgeshire as part of an initiative led by Anglian Water, geographically the largest water company in England and Wales.
The project is being watched closely by water companies across the UK as it has significant potential to be scaled up.
Anglian Water says that Logan Energy were chosen to take part due to their ability to install as well as supply the type of electrolyser that meets the projects’ requirements, and because of Logan’s reputation for delivering support for innovative energy projects.
As part of the Ofwat Water Breakthrough Challenge, the Triple Carbon Reduction project, led by Anglian Water, aims to develop, and demonstrate a novel integrated solution. The plan is to investigate using treated wastewater through an electrolyser to create hydrogen and oxygen. The oxygen will then be used within a novel wastewater treatment process (Membrane Aerated Biofilm Reactor/MABR), targeting the reduction of nitrous oxide which is a source of greenhouse gas emissions.
The hydrogen could be used for different uses, in fuel cells, to displace diesel generators, or for local transport application. Also, by investigating using treated wastewater, the project aims to tackle resource recovery, without additional demand for drinking water resources and without compromising the water resilience needed to face climate change. The project will run until June 24.
Process emissions are a key priority for the water sector, as they are among the most difficult to tackle. It is hoped that by using an electrolyser to generate oxygen, wastewater treatment processes will see a reduction in energy consumption of up to 85% and a reduction in nitrous oxide process emissions.
And by using renewable energy at the treatment works, the hydrogen created by the electrolyser will be classed as green hydrogen, indicating it has not been made using fossil fuels.
If successful, there are industry-wide implications as the solution could be rolled out more widely and at a larger scale.
Other utilities partnering in the project and expected to share the learnings include Northern Ireland Water, Severn Trent, Scottish Water and United Utilities.
Bill Ireland, Chief Executive of Logan Energy, said:
“Logan Energy is driven by the desire to help other businesses meet their net zero ambitions and provide intelligent energy solutions. So many of today’s carbon challenges can be met with innovative ideas involving hydrogen.
“Unusually for electrolysis projects, this project will use both the oxygen and hydrogen produced, further increasing the efficiency of the overall process. We’re excited to be chosen to take part in this important project with Anglian Water, which has huge scale-up potential, and look forward to seeing the results.”
Giulia Pizzagalli, Innovation Projects Manager at Anglian Water, said:
“We are excited about this innovative project, which will greatly support the delivery of the water sector’s drive to Net Zero by 2030, by aiming to reduce nitrous oxide emissions, increase the energy efficiency of wastewater treatment processes and generate a new renewable energy source via electrolysis.
“This is a valuable opportunity to collaborate with Logan Energy. Their extensive expertise in the hydrogen sector will help our project advance the water sector’s position within the developing hydrogen landscape.”