Business

11 waste plastic-to-hydrogen plants proposed for UK

An artist's impression of the Protos Energy Park
The planned Protos Energy Park in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, the first site to be announced by PowerHouse Energy

A £130m collaboration contract between three companies has been signed, confirming plans to open up 11 new plastic recycling sites across the UK using pioneering technology to convert unrecyclable plastic into hydrogen.

PowerHouse Energy Group, the company behind the technology, and waste infrastructure developer Peel Environmental have revealed plans for 10 new sites alongside the previously announced project at Protos Energy Park in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire. The recycling sites, or ‘Plastic Parks’, will use a process technology known as Distributed Modular Gasification (DMG) to convert unrecyclable plastic into hydrogen and reduce landfill waste, and the projects will be developed by energy-from-waste firm Waste2Tricity.

DMG was developed by PowerHouse Energy and first certified in November 2018. The technology has the potential to convert waste plastic, end-of-life tyres and other waste materials into EcoSynthesis gas which can go on to produce clean energy – hydrogen, electricity and other industrial products.

Myles Kitcher, Managing Director of Peel Environmental, commented: “Hydrogen is increasingly being seen as a vital part of our journey to zero carbon. This deal could be transformational in delivering a UK first technology that can generate local sources of hydrogen but also provide a solution to plastic waste. As a business we’re looking at solutions for all plastics with a vision for these facilities to sit alongside recycling and recovery.”

The process is being pioneered in the North West but Kitcher has suggested that local authorities across the country could benefit from the technology in order to treat waste plastic more sustainably and meet climate change targets. John Hall, Managing Director of Waste2Tricity, added: “Along with the magnitude of this project and a formal collaboration with Peel, we expect there will be increased investor interest who want to support this revolutionary technology across the UK.”

Now that the companies have come to an agreement, the wheels are in motion to confirm detailed planning consent at the 54 hectare (134 acre) Protos site in the forthcoming weeks.