New project to recover hydrogen from waste could support UK energy security

Posted on 14 November 2022

An expert team at the University of Manchester led by Dr Amir Keshmiri, have secured government funding to work with Powerhouse Energy Plc, a global UK leader focusing on treating unrecyclable materials to help recover hydrogen for clean energy use. This project will develop and reaffirm an affordable and revolutionary hydrogen separation technique that expands Powerhouse Energy’s experience in waste treatment and the skills of Dr Amir Keshmiri’s team in fluid dynamics and thermochemical analysis.

This breakthrough in advanced thermal treatment to recover hydrogen from unrecyclable wastes could contribute considerably to the UK’s net zero targets, reduce project costs compared to other recovery methods, and be greener and cheaper. This technology could be vital to support the UK’s energy security in periods of uncertainty. The rapid development and commercialisation of the project are capable of supporting the UK Government's target of achieving 5GW of installed hydrogen capacity by 2030.

The project, previously funded by the EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account grant, encourages the accelerated adoption of local, cleaner, low-carbon energy while managing a growing unrecyclable waste challenge and working to the current waste framework.

Paul Emmitt, COO and Executive Director at Powerhouse Energy, said the new project enables them to eliminate significant cost barriers through innovation that can deliver the next wave of clean energy technology. This revolutionary system, once commercialised, will allow for the accelerated launch of affordable hydrogen. Emmitt explained that the invention could solve a considerable cost challenge for commercial hydrogen extraction from Syngas (a hydrogen-derived mixture that can act as fuel for all future advanced thermal technologies). It could allow more facilities to reduce costs by up to 17.5%, or over £400 million for 59 facilities.

Dr Amir Keshmiri of the University of Manchester explains that the partnership will enable the University to be a leader of the game-changing technology department within the emerging clean hydrogen energy sector and allows academics to capitalise on innovative hydrogen models created for a wider audience. Dr Keshimiri believes green hydrogen will be a spotlight at COP27, highlighting that the production and storage of low-carbon hydrogen is a core theme of the climate summit hosted by Egypt as part of the hydrogen transition summit.

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