PowerHouse Energy Group updated the market on its progress with the demonstration system at the University of Chester's Thornton Science Park on Friday, after the 'Distributed Modular Gasification' (DMG) system was successfully commissioned after a complete rebuild and upgrade on its arrival in the UK last year.
The AIM-traded firm said the system had continued to operate as expected over a period of nearly six months, with a variety of feedstocks producing high-quality synthesis gas ('syngas') safely and efficiently.
Independent engineering analysis of the gas produced by tyre crumb had determined that the syngas could be adequately purified to provide a 99.999% pure stream of road-fuel-quality hydrogen, while in parallel generating electricity from excess syngas.
Thus far in 2018, the testing programme at the Thornton site had been concentrated on plastics - the company's initial targeted commercial feedstock.
Both native plastic and waste plastic feedstock had been tested under a variety of predetermined conditions to produce hydrogen-rich syngas and syngas for electrical generation.
PowerHouse said the penultimate aim of the testing programme had been the successful operation of its gas generator system for the production of electricity.
The gas generator set had been operated on the syngas streams derived from each native and waste plastic, using the syngas produced by the DMG system for internal load operations.
It said the data derived from this testing programme was contributing "substantially" to the front-end-design engineering programme for its first commercial project, targeted at the Ellesmere Port area as it had previously announced.
Subsequent to initial commercial operations, the company said it would finalise the engineering of the ultimate aim of the DMG system - hydrogen production.
The next stage of electrical production testing for the DMG system would include connection of the generator to the Energy Centre's micro-grid at Thornton Science Park.
PowerHouse said the site engineering for the micro-grid connection was now under way, and was being managed by the Energy Centre, with the expectation that the PowerHouse system would support the operation of the centre's combined heating and power plant and other independently operated electrical components.
"The results of the plastics testing have been very encouraging and allow us to feed valuable data into our rapidly advancing commercial process design," said PowerHouse technical director David Ryan.
"We continue to use the data derived from our process demonstration unit in our ongoing dialogue with prospective manufacturers and to aid and accelerate our planning and permitting processes."