The power source comes from a new 500kW combined heat and power engine installed at the United Utilities plant at Stodday. The engine uses methane to generate power.

The plant receives 1,000 cubic metres of sludge per day, which produces 40,000 cubic metres of gas a week. This is enough power to make the site self-sufficient and feed excess power back into the national grid.

Part of the project has been to develop a new enzymic hydrolyser to treat sewage sludge. Then enhanced system kills almost all bugs such as e.coli and salmonella. The process also supplies steam to heat water for the site offices.

The treated sewage sludge is also used by farmers as a natural nitrogen-rich fertiliser, which the water company delivers and spreads for free.

Alison Brown

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