A high-flier in the British clean energy industry has won nearly £4m in government funding to make its biomass and waste-to-hydrogen plants even greener through carbon capture
Compact Syngas Solutions (CSS), based in Deeside, Wales, previously won a first round of funding of £246,568. They have developed an advanced gasification process that generates hydrogen gas from waste products, including biomass like waste wood and other selected non-recyclable materials.
This waste is often sent to landfill, where it decomposes and emits harmful gases including carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere.
The technology harnesses this waste by converting it into syngas, a valuable gas that can be used to produce hydrogen for use as a cleaner fuel.
The new funding will help CSS build a full-scale rig to show that water can be used to separate and store carbon dioxide during the process. This has previously been achieved with amines, a potentially harmful compound derived from ammonia.
Removing the carbon dioxide reduces the carbon footprint of the hydrogen produced and makes the process more efficient. The syngas, once separated from the hydrogen, is also used in a gas engine that generates energy to power the process and export surplus to the grid, maximising outputs from the system.
During the project, the rig will run continuously for 1,000 hours, reliability testing the technology and getting it ready for commercialisation.
Every day, a single module will produce 750kg of hydrogen – enough to fuel a fleet of HGVs – and capture around 1,600kg of carbon dioxide.
CSS plans to build more than 50 hydrogen modules at around 15 sites, ranging from a single module to six per site offering the flexibility to suit local demand. These 50 modules will annually produce 11,000 tonnes of hydrogen and capture 29,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
The company says their technology will be key to helping the UK reach its Net Zero 2050 target. The production of low carbon hydrogen from waste materials stops it reaching landfill and creates a fuel that has no greenhouse gas by-products. Hydrogen has many uses in transport and industry.
Managing director Paul Willacy said, “Winning a second round of funding is an incredible achievement for the team, as we were up against some stiff competition.
“We are delighted that we can now scale up technology into a commercial-scale demo plant, and we are actively looking for further investment to support rollout in the next couple of years.
“Hydrogen has a very low environmental impact, but this project will help deal efficiently with the CO2 that emerges during its production.”