Severn Trent has introduced a new sewage treatment technique able to generate almost a third more power than previously possible.
Its £60 million Thermal Hydrolysis Plant (THP) will be able to efficiently process 100 tonnes of sludge each day.
More than half of the plant is now up and running, with the site expected to become fully operational by the end of the summer.
The site in Minworth already generates enough clean electricity to power the equivalent of 11,000 homes and enough gas to heat 4,800 homes every year and that’s set to increase with THP coming online.
The process works by treating sewage sludge at 170°C and under high pressure, shattering the cell structure of the bacteria in the sludge before it is digested into methane rich biogas.
The thermal hydrolysis process has an additional benefit as the leftover solids can be classified as ‘enhanced’ status fertiliser and potentially be used in the production of crops for human consumption.
David Nyul, Project Manager at Severn Trent, said: “The biogas we create through this process will both be used to generate electricity and to be treated at our gas to grid plant on site to make it suitable for domestic use before being injected into the grid where it will be used by local homes and businesses.
“The new THP will increase our generation which is good for Severn Trent, for our customers and for the environment.”