• 5 minutes Malaysia's Petronas vs. Sarawak Court Case - Will It End Up In London Courts?
  • 9 minutes Sell out now or hold on?
  • 16 minutes Oil prices going down
  • 3 hours Oil prices going down
  • 5 hours Oil and Trade War
  • 18 hours Two Koreas Agree To March Together At Asian Games
  • 5 hours When will oil demand start declining due to EVs?
  • 7 hours Sell out now or hold on?
  • 10 hours Correlation Between Oil Sweet Spots and Real Estate Hot Spots
  • 8 hours Russia and Saudi Arabia to have a chat on oil during FIFA World Cup - report
  • 5 hours venezuala oil crisis
  • 4 hours Trump Hits China With Tariffs On $50 Billion Of Goods
  • 3 hours What If Canada Had Wind and Not Oilsands?
  • 3 hours After Three Decade Macedonia End Dispute With Greece, new name: the Republic of Northern Macedonia
  • 9 hours Malaysia's Petronas vs. Sarawak Court Case - Will It End Up In London Courts?
  • 5 hours Germany Orders Daimler to Recall 774,000 Diesel Cars in Europe
  • 1 hour The Wonderful U.S. Oil Trade Deficit with Canada
  • 18 hours Geopolitical and Political Risks make their strong comeback to global oil and gas markets
  • 15 hours Trump Renews Attack On OPEC Ahead Of Group's Production Meeting
Shale Shifts Attention To This ‘Forgotten’ Oil Play

Shale Shifts Attention To This ‘Forgotten’ Oil Play

As the Permian becomes overcrowded,…

Venezuela Won’t Have Enough Oil To Export By 2019

Venezuela Won’t Have Enough Oil To Export By 2019

GlobalData recently projected that Venezuela’s…

‘Poo Power:’ Gas From Human Waste Will Heat British Homes

Human waste is certainly plentiful, but clean? In fact, it is -- if used the right way. That’s why some British utilities are planning to harness the biomethane gas produced at sewage treatment plants to create residential power for cooking and heating.

“Our customers could be at home frying sausages on gas generated at our sewage treatment works,” Mohammed Saddiq, general manager of GENeco, Wessex Water’s energy company, told The Independent.

The idea isn’t entirely new. For thousands of years, primitive peoples used dried animal manure as fuel – some tribal cultures still do. Utility companies have also used waste product to generate electricity, but only onsite. But this is the first time biomethane will be treated to be suitable for home use. Gas will move straight from sewage plants into the National Grid.

Related: U.S. Firm Angers Dubliners With Plan For Waste-to-Energy Generator

The environmental benefits could be huge, said Dragan Savic, a professor of hydroinformatics at Exeter University. He explained that emissions from the more than 9,000 sewage treatment plants in the United Kingdom are toxic. “Greenhouse-gas emissions reductions could be significant as the methane normally generated at sewage works is 25 times more harmful to the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. By capturing methane and pumping it into the National Grid, water companies could turn from greenhouse-gas emitters into renewable-energy generators.”

The British Environment Agency says the UK water industry uses about 8,100 gigawatt hours of energy each year and emits over 4 million tons of greenhouse gases.

Severn Trent and Northumbrian Water are also on board with the plan.

Here’s how “poo power” works. The Severn Trent plant treats waste from about 2.5 million people. The resulting sludge is washed, compressed and tested for ignition quality and to ensure it smells like normal methane gas. Then it’s pumped into the grid to power its customers’ homes.

Related: Study Finds Treated Fracking Wastewater Still Too Toxic

It may sound “a little unsavory,” Simon Farris, Severn Trent’s renewable energy development manager, told Bloomberg News. But he stressed that “there’s lots and lots of power locked in poo, and when that’s processed, it’s perfect to generate clean renewable green gas.”

There remains one unsavory byproduct, though: Sewage sludge. Severn Trent said in a statement that this matter is fed to “concrete cows” that work like giant cow’s stomachs to convert the sludge into gas. So far the utility uses 40 percent of this energy, but plans to use more of it in the future.

In fact, Farris said, energy is Severn Trent’s second-highest operating cost, and the use of biomethane has helped it save well over a million dollars a year on gas production.

By Andy Tully of Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News