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Scottish Water's cutting edge trial could boost drive to net zero

  • Scottish Water's cutting edge trial could boost drive to net zero

About the entity

Scottish Water
We are a publicly owned company, answerable to the Scottish Parliament and the people of Scotland. It's our job to provide 1.34 billion litres of drinking water every day and take away 847 million litres of waste water daily.
Schneider Electric

Scottish Water is leading the way in energy recovery – using innovation to produce hydrogen and oxygen from the company's waste water.

As British Science Week concludes, the company reveals this is the latest cutting-edge technology they are investigating to help achieve net zero targets by 2040.

It would involve using an electrolyser on their waste water treatment works to split water into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity.

Hydrogen is cleaner and kinder to the environment than natural gas and could be used to power their sites. Tests are also ongoing to use it to fuel our hydrogen vehicles.

Scottish Water uses oxygen in some of their waste water treatment processes, which requires a lot of energy to create. The oxygen produced could be used to reduce their energy consumption and carbon emissions.  

Scottish Water Horizons and our Research & Innovation teams have worked with Strathclyde University MSc student Hayley Irving to identify if we could use this technology with waste water. The results showed hydrogen production from waste water might now be possible and could help us reduce our carbon emissions.

Zoe Frogbook, Strategic Programme Manager in Research & Innovation at Scottish Water, said: “The benefits of this technology are far-reaching.

“It could contribute to one of the many layers of innovative technology required to reach net zero target emissions by 2040.

“Along with Horizons, Research and Innovation is continuously look for new and emerging technology that we could use on our sites.”

John Sammon, Business Development Team Leader with Scottish Water Horizons, added: “We are now commissioning a more detailed feasibility study which will allow us to establish the economics and carbon benefits of installing the equipment and to decide if it’s technically and commercially viable.”

If the study proves viable, it could see a pilot project using the new technology at one of the utility's sites in the near future.

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