'Poo Power' Leaves Water Firm Feeling Flush
It’s a load of crap!!
Thames Water has announced it generated enough energy from sewage to make a yearly saving on its electricity bill of £15m.
The company, which serves London and the wider region, generated renewable power from the solid waste produced by its 13.6 million customers.
The saving - equivalent to 14% of its power needs over 2008/9 - was made by burning sewage sludge or the methane derived from the solids.
Dr Keith Colquhoun, Thames Water's climate change strategy manager, said renewable energy sources were helping the company make "significant" progress towards its goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 20% over the period 1990 to 2020.
"There's no polite way of saying this but what we produce - our poo - isn't simply waste, it's a great source of energy," he said.
"That's good news because we treat 2.8bn litres of sewage every day at our 349 sewage works.
"The solids in sewage have a high calorific content that we use to generate electricity."
Under one method of processing the sludge, energy was generated by drying sewage into blocks which were then burnt to generate power.
Alternatively, the waste was broken down through anaerobic digestion - whereby microorganisms process biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen - to create methane, which can be used as a fuel.
Once the sludge was processed, it was offered to farmers for use as fertiliser or to developers as a soil improver.
The scheme meant that every bit of sewage sludge was put to use, with none sent to landfill.