A SCIENTIST is hoping to save the planet with poo.
Research scientist Ruyi Hu, 24, from Chester, is at the cutting edge of experimental technologies with the potential to cut thousands of tons of carbon emissions and save millions of pounds.
His work on Inverted Phase Fermentation might be a converstion killer at dinner parties but could enable the billions of litres of waste water generated in the North West every year to be treated in a much more environmentally friendly way.
Ruyi is part of the research and development team at United Utilities. He is working to make big reductions in the amount of chemicals used in sewage treatment with the addedbenefit of producing methane, which could be converted to electricity to help run United Utilities’ plants.
"Research and development is taken very seriously here - it will have a crucial role to play in our bid to beat climate change,” said Chris Matthews, head of Environment and Sustainability.
Ruyi Hu is working through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with Cranfield University that allows him to get industry experience and enables United Utilities to utilise his skills and expertise.
Ruyi, who now lives in Chester, gained a degree in pharmaceutical engineering in his native China, then a Masters in the same subject at Loughborough University before joining United Utilities in 2007.
United Utilities say 'Poo Power' is a key facet of their bid to cut its carbon footprint. Around £22million is being spent on the creation of engines that harvest the methane gas given off by sewage sludge. Such plants provide the heat for treatment processes and the electricity to run the works, and do it by using up methane which is 23 times more damaging to the atmosphere than C02.