A new technology could convert household waste into a clean, sustainable fuel to heat water.
Brunel University London and waste management firm Mission Resources have teamed up to develop an innovative, low-temperature pyrolysis treatment which would take place in self-contained Home Energy Recovery Units (HERU).
Pyrolysis is a low carbon heating process and can be used to produce energy-rich combustible solid, gas and liquid fuels.
Each of the HERU units is roughly the size of a wheelie bin, runs off a normal household plug and sits just outside of the building – for every 1kWh of power it uses, it generates 2.5kWh of energy, making it extremely energy efficient.
The invention could make every home its own micro-power plant, with claims it could cut fuel bills by 15% and solve much of the global waste management problem at its source.
Its developers believe removing the need for bin collections will mean the system could reduce the UK’s waste disposal carbon footprint by more than 70% and save millions of pounds.
A working prototype has won support from Innovate UK’s £1.5 million Energy Game Changer fund for development and testing, in addition to four UK councils and a multi-national bank agreeing to trial the device.
Co-Inventor Dr Hassam Jouhara said: “Rising fuel costs leave so many households with the difficult decision of whether to eat or to heat their home and countries worldwide are being urged to cut carbon consumption.
“The vision is to solve this global problem and slash energy bills while producing energy for heating from waste that is otherwise a burden on local authorities and households.”
A new waste-to-heat energy recovery facility in London has been granted a development consent order by the UK Government.