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Clean Hydrogen from Plastic Waste

May 12, 2020
A Pangea SI Expert

A Pangea SI Expert shares their experience from visiting a plant where clean hydrogen is being produced from plastic waste.

Innovative companies such as Powerhouse and Waste2tricity have utilised technology that results in the production of clean hydrogen gas from plastic waste, possibly helping solve crucial waste management issue.

The clean hydrogen gas, which can be used as a fuel for both transport and commercial uses, is derived from an incineration process that uses plastic waste as “feedstock”.

The waste to energy demonstrator unit processes plastic (including problematic “black” plastic) by graded incineration at very high temperatures, resulting in conversion into syngas. Hydrogen suitable for use as a fuel for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) can then be easily extracted. Storage of this is relatively straightforward with the use of commercially available canisters.

This type of energy is not renewable, however, this process has the potential to be even cleaner as hydrogen gas itself could be used to power the process. This could especially be suitable for local deployment for example at depots with large HGVs.

With many countries giving commitments towards a zero-carbon economy and decarbonising; this type of technology combines a solution between waste issues with the production of clean fuel, offering a unique proposition.

The demonstrator has few apparent environmental effects as well as it being flexible and scalable. It can also be made in modules which aid in the filtration needed for the plastic feedstock.

The next stage will be a commercial scale project to explore performance in an operational environment and prepare for potential wider deployment; Planning permission was announced for such a multi-million-pound scheme for Ellesmere Port in March 2020.

“With the regulations regarding landfill tax becoming more stringent as well as air quality and recycling targets becoming more ambitious, technology like this has the potential to solve real-world issues.”
Speak to this Renewables Consulting Specialist Expert Bio Expand

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