Getting power from poop, with Levidian’s Loop

The U.K. water processing industry produces a godawful amount of biogas annually. The gasses are primarily used to generate operational heat and power on-site, or they can be turned into biomethane and injected back into the national gas grid. New research funding is going to see if United Utilities can use 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 utilize Loop to decarbonize biogas at scale,” comments Levidian CEO John Hartley. “The consortium has a vast amount of knowledge and experience, which we are leveraging to produce carbon-negative hydrogen — there is no better goal to be working on right now.”

The U.K. 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 a project. The hope is that the project will turn out to be commercially viable as well as an environmental win.

The phase one feasibility study will allow the consortium to assess the performance of various biogas samples in a small-scale Loop system located at the Levidian Technology Centre in Cambridge. Although the primary goal of the work is to produce hydrogen, the Levidian Loop doubles as a carbon capture technology. The carbon extracted from the biogas is locked permanently 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 Loop will be carbon negative — if the system is powered by renewable electricity, that is.

Founded in 2012, Levidian is a British climate-tech business whose Loop technology cracks methane into hydrogen and carbon, locking the carbon into high-quality green graphene. The device uses a low-temperature, low-pressure process to crack methane into its constituent atoms, hydrogen and carbon, without needing catalysts or additives.

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