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UK completes human gas loop from toilet to kitchen

posted 5 Oct 2010, 10:42 by Mpelembe   [ updated 5 Oct 2010, 10:48 ]
Hundreds of British householders can for the first time cook and keep warm with gas they produce in their toilets. It follows the completion of a project to make biomethane from human waste and distribute it through the country's gas network.
DIDCOT, OXFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND, UK - Preparing a green breakfast - cooked with green gas.

It burns like ordinary gas and smells like ordinary gas but it is made from sewage.

So how do early morning commuters take to it?


"I'm a huge advocate of options for energy creation so I think that using something that is both environmentally friendly and re-uses our waste products is amazing."

Enough renewable gas to supply 200 homes is being pumped into the national grid at this small sewage works in Oxfordshire.

Its made using the waste product of the plant - which is digested by bacteria in these tanks - producing methane.

The carbon dioxide is removed in these towers and the smell of natural gas is added to the odourless methane - heralding a new era in gas production according to Martin Orrill, of British Gas.


"Effectively this landmark point in UK gas industry history is because we're going back to making gas again but this time from renewable feedstock and the renewable feedstock in this case is sewage but it could well be food waste, green crops, it could well be municipal waste. So stuff you scrape of your plate can be used to make energy."

From flushing the toilet to cooking the breakfast, the whole process takes 3 weeks.

And with the average Briton producing about 30 kilos of the raw material every year - they could be fuelling more than one in seven homes within a decade.


"The parts that we love about this is this already has to happen. You have to break down this waste, you have to take rubbish and food waste and do something with it, and this is doing something useful with it."

Britain's power companies already sell their customers millions of pounds worth of renewable electricity from all kinds of sources, now joined by a truly top-to-bottom

approach to clean energy.

Stuart McDill, Reuters, Oxfordshire.