Costain is working with Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, Wales and West Utilities and food and drink manufacturer Princes Group on the study, which will assess if hydrogen can fuel boilers to provide heat for fruit juice pasteurisation.

The programme is funded through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) £1bn Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, which aims to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative clean energy technologies and processes through the 2020s and 2030s.

The H2Juice project funding comes from the BEIS £26 million Industrial Hydrogen Accelerator Programme (Stream 2A), which will demonstrate the feasibility of end-to-end industrial fuel switching to hydrogen. The study will take five months with the possibility to awarded further funding in the subsequent Stream 2B, to conduct further engineering and a demonstrator.

Biogas is already produced from anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge at the wastewater treatment plant, which is presently used to produce electricity but can be converted into hydrogen via methane reforming; carbon capture will be added to further reduce CO2 emissions. Production is considered as a renewable hydrogen source.

A new dedicated pipeline between the wastewater treatment plant and the end user will transport the hydrogen. Storage and blending/de­blending facilities ensure the end user heat requirements can be met reliably and with an optimised gas composition maximising carbon emissions, and any excess hydrogen will be routed to on­site storage.

The study will also investigate the ability to utilise different blends of hydrogen with natural gas, enabling the transition to fuel switching and demonstration of system flexibility. The project builds on a similar study carried out with Welsh Water to evaluate the feasibility of converting waste gases from the sewage treatment process to produce fuel grade hydrogen, which could power local fleet vehicles.