Worthing Crematorium switches to hydrogen energy for world-leading trial

Released: Friday, 24 May 2024

Worthing Crematorium has become the first in the world to trial a switch to cleaner, greener hydrogen energy.

The pioneering Worthing HyCrem project involves one of the three cremators at the site being powered exclusively with green hydrogen - a world first - for a four-week period.

Cremation is an energy-intensive process, with virtually all crematoria currently reliant on natural gas. Our ambition as a council is to be carbon neutral by 2030, but the crematorium has the largest carbon footprint of our sites.

The new process uses green hydrogen, which is produced using electricity from renewable sources. Unlike natural gas, hydrogen doesn't give off carbon emissions when burnt. Green hydrogen is also produced without any carbon emissions.

We declared a climate emergency in 2019 and committed to improving the environment in order to meet our ambition to become a carbon-neutral local authority by 2030 and a net zero borough by 2045.

The HyCrem trial is the latest in a line of projects introduced to help us achieve these targets, including the Worthing Heat Network, Trees for Streets, the Sussex Bay initiative, the roll-out of public electric charging points and active travel initiatives like the Donkey Bike scheme.

Total project funding of £1,168,500 was awarded by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero through its £55m Industrial Fuel Switching Competition, which forms part of the £1bn Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP). NZIP provides backing for innovative low-carbon technologies and infrastructure.

The HyCrem project has been in development for over a year and is a joint effort, with FT Pipeline Systems acting as lead partner to Worthing Borough Council. DFW Europe, Net Zero Associates, Ricardo-AEA, PJ Combustion Solutions, Abbott Risk Consulting, Safety Monitors and GeoPura are also all involved with the project.

The University of Brighton will be monitoring the air quality throughout the four-week trial and will identify any changes in emissions. A business case will be developed to permanently reduce emissions at the crematorium using the most appropriate technology once the findings of the project have been evaluated.

Cllr Sophie Cox, Worthing's cabinet member for young people, communities and climate crisis, said:

“We declared a climate emergency in 2019 and as a council we are determined to focus our efforts on finding ways to reduce our emissions and become a carbon-neutral council by 2030.

“We're thrilled to be part of this world-leading project, which will help us and other local authorities deepen our understanding on how to use technology to reduce carbon emissions at energy-intensive buildings like crematoria.”

Abigail Dombey, the HyCrem project manager at Net Zero Associates, said:

“The transition to net zero will involve all areas of the economy, including cremations. It's incredibly exciting to be part of this project which will identify how we can do so - and is even a world first.”

For more information on how we are planning to achieve our net zero goals, visit:

Photo: Worthing Crematorium

Worthing Crematorium - entrance

(PR24-053)

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Page last updated: 11 July 2024

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