UK’s first plastics to hydrogen plant being developed in Cheshire

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Peel Environmental has announced a partnership with Waste2Tricity to provide a ‘UK first’ plastics to hydrogen plant at its 54-acre Protos site in Cheshire.  

Using Distrubted Modular Gasification, an advanced thermal treatment technology developed by Powerhouse Energy, it will produce a local source of hydrogen from unrecyclable plastics. 

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The company has said that the hydrogen could be used to initially power buses and heavy goods vehicles in the region, before being rolled-out to hydrogen cars, which will help to reduce air pollution and improve air quality.  

This £7 million plant will treat up to 25 tonnes of waste plastics a day that would otherwise go to landfill or be incinerated.  

It will be the first commercial scale project in the UK, with the technology being developed over several years at the University of Chester Energy Centre, which is next door to Protos.  

In addition to the production of decentralised hydrogen, the plant will also generate electricity, which could be supplied to businesses located at Protos through the private network.  

Waste2Tricity is currently in talks with suppliers of unrecyclable plastics across the region, including firms that could locate at the Protos site.  

The development would see 25 full time permanent jobs being created at the site and over 100 jobs being created in the North West during fabrication and construction.  

Peel Environmental managing director Myles Kitcher said: “We have a huge problem with waste plastic in the UK – almost 1.2 million tonnes goes to landfill every year. Working in partnership with Waste2Tricity we are developing a closed loop solution where plastics are brought to Protos and recycled on-site with the leftover material used to create hydrogen instead of ending up in landfill. This project really sums up what Protos is about – using innovative technologies to create value from waste, recover resources and provide low carbon energy sources which then can be used on site. 

“Not only will this help tackle the problem of waste plastics, it will provide a local source of hydrogen which could be used as a clean and low cost fuel for buses, HGVs and eventually cars, helping to reduce air pollution and improve air quality on our roads. The hydrogen revolution is taking place now in the North West and this project shows how we’re leading the way.”  

Waste2Tricity managing director John Hall said: “This will be the first of many waste to hydrogen projects for Waste2Tricity in the UK and overseas. The Protos site is ideally located in a strategic position in the North West where we have access not only to unrecyclable plastics but also a concentration of energy intensive industries. The beauty of Protos is that it can provide everything we need in one place.” 

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