The North East's sewage is going to be turned into energy.

Trials are underway at Northumbrian Water’s Howdon Sewage Treatment Works after the delivery of an advanced ammonia stripper and recovery system earlier this year.

In a first for any water company, Northumbrian Water, in collaboration with Organics Group, is using thermal energy to strip and recover ammonia from wastewater.

The recovered ammonia product could be used to generate fertilisers and the green fuels required for the hydrogen economy in the future.

Angela MacOscar, Head of Innovation at Northumbrian Water, said: “This is a very exciting project which we’re all thrilled about developing further.

“To be the first, not just in the water industry, but in the world, to use this bespoke technology is incredible and testament to our commitment to improve the environment and drive us even further on the road towards net zero."

The system has shown promise with 95 per cent recovery of a high strength ammonia product.

Ammonia, which is present in wastewater due to the natural breakdown of proteins, can be used in the production of pharmaceuticals, fertilisers and green fuels.

The process improves efficiency, reduces energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions, and could reduce customer bills.