Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Creating Green Power from What Comes Naturally; ENVIRONMENT MATTERS Commercial Feature in Association with NORTHUMBRIAN WATER

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Creating Green Power from What Comes Naturally; ENVIRONMENT MATTERS Commercial Feature in Association with NORTHUMBRIAN WATER

Article excerpt

Byline: PETER JACKSON

BRAN Sands on the south bank of the Tees estuary is the site of a pioneering environmental plant creating green power from human sewage.

Just completed, the pounds 33m plant, the biggest of its kind in the UK, will annually save Northumbrian Water millions of pounds in electricity costs and significantly cut its carbon dioxide emissions.

The science uses a natural process. A new advanced digestion process called thermal hydrolysis has been developed, which involves pre-treating the sludge remaining after sewage treatment, heating it to 165 degrees Celsius under six bars of pressure -a bit like putting it in a pressure cooker.

This destroys any pathogens and breaks down the cell structure, which makes it better to be fed to billions of bacteria in giant digester tanks -and easier for them to eat.

It reduces more than 500,000 tonnes of sludge, resulting from the treatment of domestic sewage and industrial effluent from a population equivalent of about 1.9 million, to about 60,000 tonnes.

The resulting methane is collected in 11-metre diameter biogas storage bags before being burned in a gas engine to produce nearly five megawatts of electricity.

Some of this is used in the process, making it self-sufficient, but there is enough excess to meet half of the Bran Sands site's total energy requirements.

Waste heat and steam generated from the process are also captured and recycled for use elsewhere in the process.

It also means less energy used for transportation of sludge leading to significant carbon savings.

And what remains of the sludge afterwards is an excellent fertiliser for farmers.

Northumbrian Water first started looking at the project in 2005 when energy prices started rising and Stockton-based engineering company Aker Solutions was chosen to deliver a solution. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.