‘Fatbergs’ choking London sewers to be used for energy

London sewer flusher Danny Brackley shovels out a fatberg under Leicester Square.

(Credit: Thames Water)

It sounds like a monster from a Victorian penny dreadful: a revolting, stinking mass of gelatinous glop lurks under the streets of London, threatening the citizenry. What’s to be done?

Burn it with fire! Well, use it as an alternative energy source.

Fat and oil that accumulate in the city’s drains and sewers — forming large clogging masses called “fatbergs” — are to be harvested and used to generate electricity at the largest plant of its kind in the world.

The grease will be fed into a power station at Beckton in east London that will produce an estimated 130 gigawatt hours (GWh) a year of renewable electricity, according to BBC News. An operation of that scale would be unprecedented.

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