PowerHouse Energy Group plc (“PHE”), a UK technology company pioneering clean energy production from waste plastic and end-of-life tyres, together with the University of Chester, has announced a milestone development. Its demonstration clean energy generation plant has been used to provide electricity for the Energy Centre at the University’s Thornton Science Park microgrid for the first time.
This is the first practical application of this leading-edge and highly environmentally friendly technology of taking waste plastic and converting it to clean electrical energy through PHE’s proprietary Distributed Modular Gasification (DMG©) process. Using its demonstration energy generation plant, Thornton Science Park’s microgrid was connected and supplied with electricity in a successful test run.
The DMG© process converts non-recyclable mixed and contaminated plastic waste and end of life tyres using ultra-high temperatures into synthetic gas (a fuel gas mixture consisting primarily of hydrogen), from which electricity can be generated and clean hydrogen produced for energy use.
Connection to the Science Park’s microgrid is a meaningful step towards getting PowerHouse Energy’s technology into mainstream commercial production to produce clean hydrogen for use in vehicles, initially likely to be buses, taxis and logistics vehicle fleets, and to produce electricity to be used in either the national or private grids.
Hydrogen fuel is a zero-emission fuel when burned with oxygen. It can be used in electrochemical cells or internal combustion engines to power vehicles or electric devices. It has been started to be used in commercial fuel cell vehicles such as passenger cars, and has been used in fuel cell buses for many years. It is also used as a fuel for the propulsion of spacecraft.
“We are hugely grateful to our colleagues at the University who have supported the development of this technology for a year and have allowed us to demonstrate the power of our DMG© facility at Thornton Science Park”, commented Bruce Nicholson, Commercial Operations Manager of PowerHouse.
He added: “Our unique approach to creating clean hydrogen energy turns waste plastic of any type into a friend rather than an enemy and does so in a highly efficient, commercially viable and environmentally friendly way.”
Keith Allaun, CEO of PowerHouse, said: “This is a promising step along the path to the commercial roll out of our waste to hydrogen solutions, which are also ideally suited to help reduce the vast quantities of waste plastic that is causing an environmental disaster across the world’s oceans.
“We’re delighted about working together to achieve this milestone. It is momentous for the University of Chester to be the first to receive electricity from the PowerHouse equipment and to share this success of working collaboratively on such a ground breaking technology to help tackle the waste issues facing our society,” added Paul Vernon, Chief Executive of Thornton Science Park.
Professor John Brammer, Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Chester, said: “I have been particularly pleased to have my students involved with the DMG© technology. It’s been great for them to see, first-hand, the practical application of this novel waste to hydrogen solution.”
He concluded: “I am very pleased that PowerHouse has chosen to locate its demonstrator here at the Energy Centre, and I am excited by the potential of the technology and the opportunity to play a part in its ongoing development.”