More sewage sludge should be turned into energy, says Veolia
One answer to the UK's energy crisis is sludge, according to resource management company Veolia.
The company said more human waste should be being turned into energy for the National Grid, as an unprecedented “energy gap” looms in a decade’s time. Now more advanced technologies mean that biogas from all the available sewage could now deliver an estimated 1,697GWh - enough electricity to power over half a million homes.
With more than 11 billion litres of human sewage produced in the UK daily, Veolia said not all of this is being harnessed at the many anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities up and down the country. This means a lot of waste is going to waste.
On average 66% of sewage is currently being AD treated but with recent developments in technology enabling even more gas to be extracted from sewage, its benefits can be fully realised.
John Abraham, chief operating officer - Water at Veolia UK, said: “Investment in new facilities will boost our renewable infrastructure and create jobs while reducing our carbon footprint. We need to stop relying on fossil fuels as human sewage could make a significant contribution to meeting our renewable energy targets, while keeping the lights on and taking pressure from the National Grid.”
Harnessing energy from human waste was first used in Exeter in 1895 to power Victorian streetlights. Today, the potential power from human sewage could now keep around 14 million LED/LCD TVs, 112 million phone chargers, 280 million alarm clock radios or ten million game consoles running constantly, increasing the resilience of the National Grid and helping to control energy bills.
- Thames Water uses blow-up bags to reduce sewer flooding Thames Water has begun using new blow-up bags - which temporarily block the flow of wastewater in sewers so they can be... Read More >
- Thames Water completes £3.6m sewage works upgrade Thames Water has completed a £3.6 million upgrade to its Faringdon sewage treatment works in Oxfordshire, to help serve a... Read More >
- Northumbrian Water makes £9.5m gas to grid investment Northumbrian Water has invested £9.5m in a scheme to enhance the way it uses the gas generated from the sewage it treats... Read More >
- Where there's muck, there’s brass Tim Broadhurst, CCO of CooperOstlund, on utilising sewage and sludge as a renewable energy feedstock and how to maximise... Read More >
- Going green at Severn Trent's Minworth STW With a £60 million investment aimed at producing 30 per cent more green energy from its largest sewage treatment works,... Read More >
- Veolia putting efficiency into effect As part of Anglian Water's Energy Efficiency and Optimisation framework, Veolia is using its global experience to assist... Read More >
- Finding value in liquid waste streams Matt Hale, international sales and marketing director at HRS Heat Exchangers, looks at how value can be extracted from... Read More >
- Innovation Zone: Boosting biogas production Regulatory changes mean that now is a good time for technologies that can help boost biogas production from sludge. Here... Read More >