Problem: The cost of collecting vast quantities of natural gas has become steadily more expensive over the years, plus fracking shale gas as a cheap alternative we know has some detrimental and rather controversial effects on the environment.
Burning up gas sourced from a finite resource is never going to last forever, so a few boffins have been looking for renewable alternatives.
Solution: Inspired by a lamp left over from the Victorian era; plans have been drawn up that could fuel up to 50% of the UK with this renewable ‘Green Gas’.
“…renewable gas could meet up to 50% of UK residential gas demand. Produced mainly via a process of anaerobic digestion (AD) or thermal gasification of the UK’s biodegradeable waste, renewable gas represents a readily implementable solution for delivering renewable heat to homes in the UK.”
Report by National Grid January 2009
Back in the Victorian days large cities had a rather unpleasant problem that not only smelt bad but on occasion could cause the odd explosion!
In an attempt to eradicate this urban dilemma a man from Birmingham in the 19th Century came up with a street lamp that was designed to burn of these unwanted gases. As sewer gases would build up on slopes and hills Mr Joseph Webb’s patented lamps where fitted to solve the problem.
Today just one of these lamps still exists, it is found running 24 hours a day just off the Strand around the back of the Savoy on Carting Lane aka Farting Lane!
So what does the future have in store?
The gas companies today require a good quality consistent gas supply, using raw sewer gas or gas produced from household waste would simply not be an option.
However the food Industry and farming can deliver consistent fuel that can adequately supply up to 50% of the UK’s natural gas demand by 2025, although it is possible, it is not likely to be adopted widely for some time.
Ecotricity has already planned this year to build their first ‘Green Gas’ production plants that will use cut grass from farms to produce the gas. They will use micro-organisms to break down the grass in an oxygen-less environment. This will produce just two products;
An excellent compost for the farmers fields
Good quality, consistent Green Gas
This is a tried and tested proven technology known as anaerobic digestion (AD) which we strongly believe to be the way of the future when it comes to green gas production, and we are not the only ones…