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Frack Off speak out over Stoke-on-Trent methane extraction plans

A spokesperson from campaign group Frack Off has described the extraction of coal bed methane as "as big a deal - if not bigger - than shale gas".

On their website the group describe it as "Shale Gas's less well known but equally destructive sibling in 'the family' of extreme energy methods". Extraction involves drilling into the rock formation containing the gas, sometimes adding stimulation like water or air to obtain the methane.

The group claim the closer proximity to the surface of the drilling increases risk of water contamination and methane leaks.

They say 12 planning applications have been approved in the UK for shale gas extraction, and 70 approved for coal bed methane.

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Councillors and business leaders support gas extraction

For many years, methane from disused coal mines in and around Stoke-on-Trent has been captured and sold to the market. Preliminary research suggests that there are supplies of gas from un-mined coal - known as coal bed methane - that could also be extracted.

– Councillor Andy Platt, cabinet member for green enterprise, Stoke-on-Trent City Council

The council claim that local businesses and communities could benefit from locally-sourced energy.

We rely on a consistent and secure supply of energy. Energy costs are a critical factor in our continued growth and the jobs and prosperity we generate for the city. The search for alternative local supplies and the use of coal bed methane would be a massive boost for us.

– Stephen Dixon, Chief Executive, Johnsons Tiles

Council looks to coalbed gas to fuel future growth

Stoke-on-Trent city council is investigating the potential of extracting methane from disused coal beds in a bid to supply local businesses and communities with locally sourced power.

Gas from disused coal mines could provide Stoke-on-Trent with power Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive/Press Association Images

This announcement comes in addition to recent proposals to bring a host of new technologies to the local energy market including geo-thermal hot water, biomass and solar power.

Councillors hope that the city will benefit from cheaper energy prices and the creation of thousands of new jobs.

How scientists use cats to catch criminals - full report

DNA taken from cats has been used for the first time in the UK in a criminal investigation to convict a man of killing and dismembering his friend.

Scientists from the University of Leicester were called in by detectives investigating the discovery of a man's body found on a beach. Stacey Foster reports.

Birmingham scientists' energy breakthrough - full report

Scientists have disovered how to make gold from rubbish - black gold - in other words - oil.

It sounds like the Holy Grail for the energy industry, but researchers at Aston Univeserity in Birmingham have figured out that if they burn rubbish and garden clippings in a pressure cooker - it turns into oil and gas.

They're heating their own building with it - now they want to help firms do the same thing and say large cities can become self-sufficient in generating their own power. Our business correspondent, Mark Gough reports.

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Cat DNA used to convict killer for the first time

Scientists have used cat DNA to convict a killer for the first time Credit: PA

DNA taken from cats has been used for the first time in the UK in a criminal investigation to convict a man of killing and dismembering his friend.

Scientists from the University of Leicester were called in by detectives investigating the discovery of a man's body found on a beach.

Scientists analysing DNA samples at the University of Leicester Credit: ITV News Central

The dismembered body of David Guy was found on a beach in Southsea in Hampshire in July last year.

David Guy's body was found on a beach in Hampshire Credit: ITV News Central

He was wrapped in a curtain covered in cat hairs. Identical hairs were found in a flat belonging to David Hilder. He was cleared of Mr Guy's murder but convicted of mansalughter.

Transformer transporter longer than Olympic pool

A similar electrical transformer being delivered earlier this year Credit: National grid

A massive electrical transformer will be delivered on a low loader lorry to a power station in Nottinghamshire tonight.

The 226 tonne transformer, which is the size of a house, will leave a shipping port in East Yorkshire at 10pm, and travel 73 miles at 12 miles an hour down the M18 and M1.

It's due to arrive at Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station between 3.00am and 5.00am.

The A453 will be closed and the low-loader lorry, which is longer than an Olympic sized swimming pool, which be escorted by police.

Staffordshire based haulage firm ALE, who specialise in carrying heavy loads, have planned the delivery to minimise disruption to motorists.

Power station to take delivery of huge transformer

Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station in Nottinghamshire which will take delivery of a 226 tonne electrical transformer tonight Credit: PA

A huge electrical transformer the size of a house will be delivered to Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power station in Nottinghamshire tonight.

The piece of kit is 261 tonnes and 66 metres long and has been shipped 5,500 miles from South Korea.

The A453 into Nottingham will be closed overnight so the massive load can be delivered. It's taken months of planning for the transformer to be delivered by road from Goole in East Yorkshire.

Pylons coming from the Ratcliffe-on-Soar power station where the huge transformer will arrive between 3am and 5am on Sunday Credit: PA
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