Thames Water’s bum deal

The energy conscious guys at Thames Water have come up with a novel way of using our sloppy sewage. The utility firm are converting human waste into highly combustible renewable […]

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By Tom Gibson

The energy conscious guys at Thames Water have come up with a novel way of using our sloppy sewage. The utility firm are converting human waste into highly combustible renewable fuel through the use of a dryer, which is then burnt like wood chips.

The eco-friendly machine used at Thames Water’s Slough sewage works burns biomethane gas from the sewage, using anaerobic digestion, to heat the sludge to around 180C, driving out 95% of the water in it. The resulting ‘sludge flakes’ are burnt to generate renewable electricity.

Rupert Kruger, Thames Water’s head of innovation, said: “This is the first time in Britain that a waste dryer has been used to create ready-to-burn fuel from sewage sludge, rather than simply being used as a waste-reducer.

“This innovative approach demonstrates our clear intent to help move Britain towards becoming a low-carbon economy by unlocking every ounce of renewable energy potential from waste.”

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