News Release

Funding awarded for an innovation to recover hydrogen from waste to help safeguard energy security

Next generation cleaner energy technology being developed that could be “cleaner and cheaper” than current methods

Business Announcement

University of Manchester

Green energy city

image: Our cities could be powered by cleaner hydrogen energy with innovation from The University of Manchester and Powerhouse Energy view more 

Credit: Nerea Martí Sesarino

A team of experts at The University of Manchester led by Dr Amir Keshmiri have received UK government funding to work with Powerhouse Energy Plc - a world-leading company specialising in treatment of unrecyclable wastes - to help recover hydrogen for clean energy use.

This project will develop and validate a novel and inexpensive game-changing hydrogen separation technique that builds upon Powerhouse Energy's expertise in waste treatment and the international track-record of Dr Amir Keshmiri’s team in fluid dynamics and thermochemical analysis.

This potential breakthrough in advanced thermal treatment to recover hydrogen from unrecyclable wastes could make a significant contribution to achieve net zero targets and reduce costs compared to existing recovery methods – making the process potentially ”greener and cheaper”.

The rapid development and commercialisation of the invention will support ambitious clean energy targets – including the UK Hydrogen Strategy that aims to deliver 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030.

Initially funded by the EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account grant, the project effectively encourages the swifter adoption of local, low carbon energy – while, at the same time, addressing a growing unrecyclable waste issue, such as some plastics.

Dr Amir Keshmiri, Associate Professor in Computational Fluid Dynamics at The University of Manchester, said: “The collaboration allows the University to be at the forefront of high-impact, game-changing technology development within the emerging clean hydrogen energy sector - and allows the academic team to capitalise on the bespoke hydrogen models developed to a wider audience.”

Mr Paul Emmitt, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director at Powerhouse Energy (PHE), said the project will allow the UK company to edge closer to overcoming significant cost barriers through innovation to deliver the next generation of cleaner energy technology.

The pioneering technique, once commercialised, will enable the faster rollout of inexpensive hydrogen.

He added: “The invention has the potential to overcome a significant cost prohibitive factor for commercial hydrogen extraction from syngas [ie synthesis gas mix that includes  hydrogen which can be used as a fuel] not just for PHE, but all next generation advanced thermal technologies - and potentially allowing more facilities to be developed for the same available capital, enhancing production towards, and even beyond, the ambitious 5GW target.

“Quantifying the impact for PHE, the proposed hydrogen separation technique has the potential to reduce project costs by up to 17.5%.”

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