06 June 2023


The first initiative to co-locate fuel cell grade hydrogen production with wastewater treatment in Great Britain will begin with a project in Cambridgeshire this summer. Element 2, the UK’s leading hydrogen infrastructure business, will purchase hydrogen produced by a new electrolyser at Anglian Water’s Milton Road, Cambridge water recycling site and supply it to hydrogen vehicles. 

Producing green hydrogen while reducing emissions in the water treatment process 

The hydrogen will be produced as part of the innovative Triple Carbon Reduction Project - delivered via a partnership funded through Ofwat’s Water Breakthrough Challenge. The project aims to reduce carbon emissions during the water recycling process. The integrated electrolyser system is being introduced as part of the water pre-treatment process to generate green hydrogen and oxygen.  

It’s anticipated that up to 91kg of fuel cell grade hydrogen, suitable for use with hydrogen vehicles, will be generated each day when operating at 100% runtime from July 2023. 

Supplying green hydrogen to hydrogen vehicle manufacturers 

Element 2 will provide cutting-edge storage for the hydrogen produced at Anglian Water’s Cambridgeshire site and transport it to its network of hydrogen refuelling stations around the UK. From there, the hydrogen will be used to fuel Element 2’s customer base of hydrogen fleet owners and operators, as well as to support hydrogen engine development and for trials of new fuel cell vehicles arriving on UK roads. Vehicles that will benefit from the hydrogen include trucks, vans and buses. 

Safe and environmentally friendly hydrogen production 

Element 2 will work in partnership with Anglian Water to ensure the design, installation and commissioning of the integrated electrolyser system and its location are suitable for the safe and efficient transfer, storage and collection of hydrogen. Element 2 will also collaborate with Anglian Water to quantify the environmental benefits of the trial.

Brendan Bilton, chief technology officer at Element 2, said: “This partnership is a significant milestone for the production of hydrogen using water in the UK and will help accelerate the decarbonisation of trucks and commercial vehicles on the roads. We work with a range of local suppliers in the UK’s hydrogen sector, ensuring we champion the circular economy with partnerships like the Anglian Water hydrogen production project, and establishing flexible supply chains as we build the UK’s network of hydrogen refuelling stations and solutions.” 

Giulia Pizzagalli, Innovation Projects Manager at Anglian Water, said: “We are excited to work with Element 2 to ensure the safe and efficient removal of hydrogen from our demonstration plant in such a novel way. Using a process by-product to aid the decarbonisation of vehicles has real synergy with the objectives of the Triple Carbon Reduction project to reduce the emissions generated through the water treatment process.”