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E.ON Croatia to produce hydrogen using sewage sludge

e.on croatia hydrogen wastewatwer sludge zov

Photo: ZOV

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December 20, 2023

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Published:

December 20, 2023

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Energy firm E.ON Croatia has received a grant from the European Union via the Innovation Fund for a project to produce hydrogen using sewage sludge, to blend it into the local gas grid and use it as fuel for public buses in Zagreb.

The European Commission said it received 72 applications, of which 42 met the requirements for funding, and that it selected 17. A total of EUR 65 million was distributed to the small-scale innovative clean tech projects. Grants range from EUR 1.6 to EUR 4.5 million.

The funds will help companies in Europe to bring breakthrough technologies to the market in energy-intensive industries, renewable energy, and energy storage, the commission said.

E.ON’s endeavor is the only one for hydrogen and one of eight intended for energy-intensive industries. They won grants of EUR 32.6 million in total.

E.ON’s project is called S2H2 – Sludge-to-Hydrogen for a Circular Economy

According to the website of the EU’s Innovation Fund, S2H2 envisages the transformation of sewage sludge into hydrogen for blending into the local natural gas grid and usage as fuel for 20 hydrogen-powered buses operated by Zagreb’s public transport firm ZET.

The byproducts – carbon black and ash, will be used as additives in tyre manufacturing and concrete production, the project summary reveals.

Germany-based E.ON, which owns E.ON Croatia, has a 48.5% share in Zagrebačke Otpadne Vode or ZOV through its group’s other subsidiary Westenergie Aqua, E.ON Croatia said in its Sustainability Report for 2022. ZOV is the concessionaire of Zagreb’s wastewater treatment plant. The first segment of the facility, worth EUR 313 million, was built from 1998 to 2004.

The contract expires in December 2028. The City of Zagreb is responsible for the disposal of the waste sludge left over after wastewater treatment.

E.ON Croatia, Indeloop have signed an MoU for the project

To enable the sustainable disposal of the sludge, the firm first launched a project under the title From Sludge Recovery to Green Hydrogen – a Circular Economy Concept in Zagrebačke Otpadne Vode, in cooperation with Indeloop.

The two firms signed a memorandum of understanding in September 2022, the report reads.

ZOV annually produces 50,000 tonnes of waste sludge, which is disposed of at several locations in Croatia.

E.ON Croatia has determined there is potential for energy recovery from one sixth of the sludge from ZOV as sustainable hydrogen in the pilot phase. Ash would be the only byproduct and it can be used in the construction industry, while the level of sludge disposal costs would be maintained, it said.

The sustainable hydrogen produced could be used to power public buses or waste collection vehicles and such solutions are in line with the Action Plan for Improving Air Quality in the City of Zagreb, according to the report.

E.ON Croatia received government approval a year ago.

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