Hydrogen for bin wagons

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Cheshire East Council and Storengy have joined forces and secured funding towards a £1m scheme which will see bin wagons converted to take home-produced hydrogen.

The scheme comprised of both public and private sector money -- with a £345,000 contribution from the local enterprise partnership's Local Growth Fund -- will see the first green hydrogen fuelling facility in the North West of England, bringing carbon and air quality benefits to Cheshire East.

Installed at the Ansa environmental services depot in Middlewich, it is proposed to produce hydrogen in the greenest way possible -- using an electrolyser connected to solar panels and grey-water recycling. This will provide safe, clean hydrogen fuel, which will be pumped into duel-fuel bin wagons.

Initially, two bin wagons owned by the council and one vehicle owned by Storengy will be converted to use the green hydrogen. This will reduce the council's and Storengy's diesel use by more than 10,000 litres per year.

Mike Gibson, managing director of Storengy, said: "Decarbonising fleet operators' activities is a huge challenge and we see this as an important first step in the process.

"We pride ourselves in being part of the energy transition that harnesses a fresh approach to deliver and store energy sources in the UK and worldwide. We are delighted to unveil this scheme in partnership with Cheshire East Council, the first of its kind in the United Kingdom."

The project has been awarded a grant of £345,000 from the £4.1m energy fund, run by Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) as part of the Local Growth Fund.

Subject to approvals, including planning permission, the refuse vehicles will be operating from autumn 2020. All work will all comply with the necessary health and safety requirements.

Residents with questions about the scheme can contact their local councillors by visiting: www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/councillors

You can read the answers to some FAQs (Frequently asked Questions) about the scheme and the use of hydrogen in general by clicking on the link beneath the photo

Editor's note — the editor's education in chemistry (admittedly now nearly fifty years out of date) did not include any diagram of hydrogen looking anything like the picture here — never mind, it's the thought that counts.....

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