A seemingly ground-breaking energy-from-waste domestic heating system has been awarded support from the Government’s Innovate Energy Game Changer fund, enabling further development and trials.
The Home Energy Recovery Unit (HERU) is designed to fit seamlessly into a domestic property, and converts all household waste (from food to paper to bones and even nappies) into a clean, sustainable fuel source that is used to heat water for the home. It does this using pyrolysis, a process of heating materials in the absence of oxygen, resulting in the production of energy rich combustible gas, liquid and solid fuels.
Using “controllable and leading-edge heat pipe technology”, the waste is heated, decomposed and transformed into synthesised gas, which is cleaned prior to being vented in the atmosphere.
Described as “the world’s first hybrid boiler”, HERU is also capable of running on gas to ensure, when there is no waste to process, the unit works similarly to any conventional boiler.
The Innovate Energy Game Changer Fund has been set up to find leading-edge solutions to long-standing challenges faced by the energy sector and is aimed at encouraging disruptive technologies to break into the market.
Nik Spencer, CEO of Mission Resources, the company behind HERU, commented: “We have put together a world-class team dedicated to delivering a viable domestic energy solution – and the additional investment from The Innovate Energy Game Changer Fund will only enhance that.
“The thought of the end of waste as we know it, is very compelling; the world cannot continue dealing with waste as it has been. Dramatic changes are required to totally rethink what we do, and HERU answers many of the problems we are faced with today, while also solving the problems of tomorrow. The innovate fund award is a breakthrough as recognition that the concept is deliverable.”
Dr Hussam (Sam) Jouhara of Brunel University London, the technical director of the project, added: “We have invented a clean energy process that works in the domestic environment and which has major carbon reduction opportunities; we are pleased HERU has received the recognition it deserves.”
Multiple full-scale field evaluations will commence at the end of 2017, with a view to full production 2019/20, says Mission Resources.