Waste plastic to hydrogen project takes first step

Jon Lawson

Peel Environmental has signed a collaboration agreement with Waste2Tricity and PowerHouse Energy which would see 11 waste plastic to hydrogen facilities – representing an investment of £130 million – developed across the UK. This follows the announcement that the first facility will be located at the company’s 54 hectares Protos site near Ellesmere Port in Cheshire.

Using a UK-first advanced thermal treatment technology the network of facilities could transform the way waste plastics are dealt with nationally. The pioneering DMG (Distributed Modular Gasification) technology developed by Powerhouse Energy produces a local source of hydrogen from unrecyclable plastics. This clean and low-cost hydrogen could be used to power buses and Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs), before being rolled out to hydrogen cars. 

Helping to tackle another significant environmental problem, the technology also provides a solution to plastics that cannot be reused or recycled and that would otherwise end up in landfill. With almost 1.2 million tonnes of waste plastics going to landfill every year, local authorities across the country are looking for alternative treatment technologies. 

Myles Kitcher from Peel Environmental, part of Peel L&P, said: “Hydrogen is increasingly being seen as a vital part of our journey to zero carbon. This deal could be transformational in delivering a UK-first technology that can generate local sources of hydrogen but also provide a solution to plastic waste. As a business we’re looking at solutions for all plastics with a vision for these facilities to sit alongside recycling and recovery.

“We’re pioneering this solution in the North West but local authorities across the country could benefit from a more sustainable way to treat waste plastic, whilst also creating a local source of low carbon transport fuel which could help them meet their climate change targets.”
John Hall from Waste2Tricity added: “As pioneers of the low carbon distributed Hydrogen Economy, we are delighted to see this collaboration with Peel Environmental, who have recognised the importance of hydrogen as a fuel for the future. Along with contributing to a growing circular economy, this innovative technology will undoubtedly play an important role in helping the UK meet its net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, whilst tackling the country’s problem of how to dispose of unrecyclable plastic.”

Peel Environmental will provide real estate and infrastructure support, Waste2Tricity is the developer and PowerHouse Energy is the technology and engineering services provider. 

The partnership is due to submit a planning application for the first site near Ellesmere Port in Cheshire shortly. Peel Environmental is looking at developing a closed loop solution at Protos where plastics are recycled on-site with the leftover material used to create hydrogen. 



Recent Issues