The UK water treatment industry produces a huge amount of biogas every year. The gases are mainly used to generate operational heat and power on site, or they can be transformed into biomethane and fed back into the national gas grid. New research funding is going to see if United Utilities can use the Levidian loop system to turn these waste gases into carbon-negative hydrogen (which can be easily stored for later use) with graphene, which has a number of cases interesting uses, including medicine, electronics and energy.
“This is an exciting project that will pave the way for using Loop to decarbonize biogas at scale,” comments John Hartley, CEO of Levidian. “The consortium has a wealth of knowledge and experience, which we are harnessing to produce carbon-negative hydrogen – there is no better target to work on right now.”
The UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has awarded the project around $250,000 (£212,000, to be exact) through the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio for the first phase of a project. . The hope is that the project will prove commercially viable as well as an environmental victory.
The phase one feasibility study will allow the consortium to evaluate the performance of various biogas samples in a small-scale loop system located at the Levidian Technology Center in Cambridge. Although the main objective of the work is to produce hydrogen, the Levidian loop doubles as carbon capture technology. Carbon extracted from biogas is permanently locked in high-grade graphene, which can then decarbonize a wide variety of other products.
The company says the hydrogen produced by Loop will be carbon negative – if the system is powered by renewable electricity, that is.
Founded in 2012, Levidian is a British climate technology company whose Loop technology breaks down methane into hydrogen and carbon, locking the carbon into high-quality green graphene. The device uses a low temperature, low pressure process to crack methane into its constituent atoms, hydrogen and carbon, without the need for catalysts or additives.