The water treatment industry in the UK produces an awful lot of biogas annually. The gases are mainly used to generate operational heat and electricity on site or can be converted to biomethane and injected back into the national gas network. New research funding will see if United Utilities can use The Levidian’s Loop System to turn these waste gases into carbon-negative hydrogen (which can be easily stored for later use) along with graphene, which has a number of interesting use cases, including medicine, electronics and energy.
“This is an exciting project that will lead the way to using the Loop to decarbonize biogas at scale,” commented Levidian CEO John Hartley. “The consortium has a huge amount of knowledge and experience that we are using to produce carbon-negative hydrogen – there is no better target to work on right now.”
The UK government’s 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 the project. The hope is that the project will prove economically viable as well as an environmental win.
A phase one feasibility study will allow the consortium to evaluate the performance of different biogas samples in a small Loop system located at the Levidian Technology Center in Cambridge. Although the primary goal of the operation is hydrogen production, the Levidian Loop doubles as a carbon capture technology. The carbon extracted from the biogas is permanently locked into high-quality graphene, which can then go on to decarbonize a wide variety of other products.
The company claims that the hydrogen produced by the Loop will be carbon negative – if the system is powered by renewable electricity, that is.
Founded in 2012, Levidian is a British climate technology business whose Loop technology breaks methane into hydrogen and carbon, locking the carbon in high-quality green graphene. The device uses a low-temperature, low-pressure process to separate methane into its constituent atoms, hydrogen and carbon, without the need for catalysts or additives.