A £4.3m scheme extracting methane gas from human waste to provide fuel to power homes by 2011, has been unveiled by energy company United Utilities.

The biomethane project being trialed in Manchester, England, is the first of its kind in Britain and will be run from the city’s Davyhulme waste water treatment works, the country’s second biggest sewage works.

The gas will be supplied through the local pipeline network.

United Utilities won financial backing from The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) through its Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP).

Further plants are expected to be built in the future, bringing the renewable fuel to hundreds of thousands of British homes.