University of Manchester’s new innovation to recover hydrogen from waste will help UK achieve net zero targets

Nov 14, 2022 | Green Innovation

You are here: Home > University of Manchester’s new innovation to recover hydrogen from waste will help UK achieve net zero targets

Led by Dr Amir Keshmiri, a team of experts at The University of Manchester have received government funding to help recover hydrogen for clean energy use alongside Powerhouse Energy Plc, a world-leading UK company specialising in treatment of unrecyclable wastes.

This project will develop and validate a novel and inexpensive game-changing hydrogen separation technique that builds upon Powerhouse Energy’s expertise in waste treatment and the international track-record of Dr Amir Keshmiri’s team in fluid dynamics and thermochemical analysis.

This potential breakthrough in advanced thermal treatment to recover hydrogen from unrecyclable wastes could make a significant contribution to the UK’s net zero targets and reduce project costs compared to existing recovery methods.

Alongside being ”greener and cheaper”, this new technology would be an important asset to help secure UK energy security at a time of major crisis and uncertainly.

It is hoped that through the rapid development and commercialisation of this invention, the collaboration will directly support achieving the UK governments Low Carbon Hydrogen Strategy’s 5GW installed capacity target by 2030.

The project, which is initially funded by the EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account grant, effectively encourages the swifter adoption of local, cleaner, low carbon energy while also addressing a growing unrecyclable waste issue, working within the existing waste hierarchy framework.

Powerhouse energy provides flexible, innovative, solutions to global pollution by recycling plastic and waste into valuable clean energy products. Its technology creates an energy rich clean synthetic gas, with similar energy to natural gas. This syngas can be used directly as an industrial feedstock or to produce sustainable hydrogen and/or electrical power to power local communities or whole countries, Powerhouse Energy can contribute both technology and expertise to help resolve the catastrophic environmental impact that unrecyclable waste plastic is having across the planet.

Mr Paul Emmitt, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director at Powerhouse Energy (PHE), said the project will allow PHE to edge closer to overcoming significant cost barriers through innovation to deliver the next generation of cleaner energy technology. The pioneering technique, once commercialised, will enable the faster rollout of inexpensive hydrogen.

Dr Amir Keshmiri, Associate Professor in Computational Fluid Dynamics at The University of Manchester, said: “The collaboration allows The University of Manchester to be at the forefront of high-impact, game-changing technology development within the emerging clean hydrogen energy sector – and allows the academic team to capitalise on the bespoke hydrogen models developed to a wider audience.

“The topical nature of hydrogen as a critical part of the UK’s clean energy strategy and a central part of energy security and independence plans, means this project is strategically important to the UoM and is directly aligned with one of its ‘research beacons”

Clean energy from hydrogen, otherwise known as ‘green hydrogen’ was a key talking point at COP27, the climate change summit hosted in Sharm el-Sheikh. Production and storage of low-carbon hydrogen was one of the key themes of COP27 Egypt as part of the hydrogen transition summit.

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