PowerHouse Energy Group plc (LON:PHE), the UK technology company pioneering hydrogen production from waste plastic and used tyres, has today provided the following update on the Company’s progress during the financial year ended 31 December 2017.
Major progress has been made in the process of seeking the commercialisation of the Company’s core technology, the PowerHouse G3-UHt Distributed Modular Gasification (DMG®) system. This low-cost system has been developed specifically to convert almost all types of waste plastic into a synthesis gas (“syngas”) delivering a high proportion of hydrogen of road fuel quality for use in fuel cell cars, trucks and buses.
PowerHouse’s distributed model and use of waste plastic and used tyres as feedstock means that, for the first time, hydrogen can be sold as a road fuel at or near the point of production and at a cost competitive with current hydrocarbon fuels. This underlines the ground-breaking potential of PowerHouse’s technology as to date the production and delivery costs of hydrogen have prohibited its widespread use as a road fuel.
The DMG® system continues to generate significant interest from both domestic and international partners, in part reflecting the urgency of finding a solution for the worldwide problem of waste plastic pollution. Growing media attention, such as the Sky Ocean Rescue campaign and the BBC’s Blue Planet II, has heightened interest in this issue.
The attractions of the DMG® system are further reinforced by China’s recent decision to ban the import of waste plastic from the UK and other countries. The UK alone will be forced to find new ways to deal with approximately 500,000 tonnes of plastic previously shipped to China each year.
Progress achieved during the year to 31 December 2017 includes:
- Board strengthened in October 2017 by the appointment of Dr Cameron Davies as Non-Executive Chairman, founder and former CEO of Alkane Energy plc with a PhD in Applied Geochemistry from Imperial College London and more than 20 years’ experience in power generation and the energy industry
- The commissioning at the University of Chester’s Thornton Science Park of the prototype G3-UHt unit and the successful demonstration of its ultra-high temperature production of syngas from waste tyres
- An extended trial of the G3-UHt unit showed that the production of syngas could be controlled to produce more than 50 per cent hydrogen by volume with independent analysis by Linde BOC confirming the syngas could be purified to road-fuel-quality hydrogen
- Memorandum of Understanding signed to explore the possibility of establishing a DMG® network in Qatar for the conversion of waste to hydrogen for fuel cell vehicles
- Completion of pre-Front-end Engineering and Design (pre-FEED) stage in the engineering design of a 25 tonne-per-day commercial DMG® system
- The signing of heads of terms with Peel Environmental Ltd (“Peel”) for the first site for a commercial DMG® unit. The Peel site, in Cheshire, benefits from access to the national gas and electricity grids and has excellent transport links
- The milestones achieved in 2017 position the Company for further progress during the current year and beyond.
Key priorities and targets for the year ahead include:
- Continuing design work of the first commercial DMG® system – currently in the Basic Engineering Program and Front-end Design and Engineering (FEED) stage in which component suppliers will be selected and design schema optimised
- Building, commissioning and full-scale operation of the first commercial DMG®
- Working with Peel in advancing the planning and other permissions for the first Cheshire site, as agreed under heads of terms in December 2017, and in progressing site engineering works
- Signing agreements on the feedstock for the commercial G3-UHt system and on the ultimate use of the syngas
- Creating a plan for the further development of the Cheshire site, with the ultimate target of having the capacity to produce more than 2MW of electricity and 3 tonnes of high-quality hydrogen per day
- Continuing to explore worldwide partnering and licensing opportunities for the DMG® system, including the possibility of DMG® networks in Qatar, East Asia, continental Europe and the USA.
- Seeking and agreeing strategic alliances, and pursuing other initiatives, in transport-related fuel cell applications
Keith Allaun, CEO of Powerhouse Energy Group Plc, commented: “The year to 31 December 2017 has been a year during which PowerHouse Energy took major strides towards achieving its objective of commercialising its proprietary and highly efficient technology to convert plastic and other waste into syngas for hydrogen production. We have been a pioneer in the distributed hydrogen-from-waste-plastic market in the UK and we are targeting early adoption of our technology.
“From a financial perspective, we eliminated a significant hurdle to our growth by reaching agreement to retire the convertible note with Hillgrove Investments Pty Ltd through the payment of £2 million in cash and the issuance of £1.4 million in equity; the note was accruing nearly £500,000 in interest per annum.
“We enter the new year focused on delivering the commercialisation of our DMG® technology during 2018, and we remain confident that hydrogen from waste plastic will emerge as a preferred fuel for road transport.”