Circular Economy Case Studies

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Ensuring our waste doesn't go to waste

Biogas from human sewage

We produce over 11 billion litres of human sewage in the UK every day. Advances in technology mean that capturing the biogas from all of it could deliver an estimated 1,697GWh: that's enough to power over half a million homes.

On average only 66% of sewage is being treated at AD facilities2,  meaning a lot of our waste is going to waste.

By significantly increasing the power derived from the anaerobic digestion of sludge, Veolia's latest innovation boosts sustainability, reduces carbon emissions and lowers costs.

Wastewater treatment plants process large amounts of sludge through AD. The resulting biogas used to generate electricity via Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants. The new Veolia system reduced hydrogen sulphide (H2S) and demonstrated a 14% increase in renewable electricity generation - a significant step towards the circular economy.

Today, the potential power from human sewage could keep around 14 million LED/LCD TVs, 112 million phone chargers, 280 million alarm clock radios or ten million games consolesrunning constantly, increasing the resilience of the National Grid and helping to control energy bills.
1. Waste water treatment in the UK,
2. Anaerobic Digestion Strategy and Action Plan,
3. Based on each of these household goods being used 24/7/365