Clarke Energy to Demonstrate Carbon Negative Carbon Capture System at Severn Trent Water after Winning Ofwat’s “Water Breakthrough Challenge”.

  • Clarke Energy part of consortium including Severn Trent, CCM, Brunel University, United Utilities Southern Water and Scottish Water that win Ofwat’s “Water Breakthrough Challenge”.
  • The consortium’s winning bid will support the demonstration of an innovative carbon capture and conversion system at Severn Trent wastewater treatment site in England.
  • The demonstration facility is anticipated to recover 85-95% of carbon dioxide from the biogas engine’s exhaust and net reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

0800, Thursday 28 April 2022 (Liverpool, United Kingdom) – A first of its kind project to remove carbon from biogas engine exhaust at a Severn Trent Water site in Derby and turn it into eco-friendly products and help reduce net carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, has been named a winner of Ofwat’s second Water Breakthrough Challenge.

The CHP Exhaust Carbon Capture and Utilisation (CECCU) project is a collaboration of leading companies in the water sector, partnering an innovative technology provider, a proven project management company and strong academic institution for input for the life cycle analysis. The English and Welsh water regulator has awarded £1,138,947 to Clarke Energy and £3,189,530 in total to the partnership of Severn Trent Water, CCM, Brunel University, United Utilities, Southern Water and Scottish Water.

The CECCU project will unlock a key technological innovation that will enable the water sector in England and Wales to meet its Net-Zero carbon commitment and lead the charge in the UK Government’s race to Net-Zero.

This project will trial first of its kind technology at a Severn Trent Water site in Derby to remove the carbon from CHP exhaust and turn it into eco-friendly products that have a variety of uses (including in paint and fertiliser) – the net-zero, circular economy in action. In addition, the project will confirm further carbon savings associated with replacing intensively mined natural resources with an environmentally friendlier Precipitated Calcium Carbonate (eco-PCC) from the captured CO2.

The CO2 from the engine exhaust is typically deemed to be carbon neutral as it is part of the short-term carbon cycle. By removing this CO2 from the atmosphere, it is possible to overall reduce carbon dioxide from the atmosphere over time. If successful, the project will deliver a direct short-term benefit – net reducing CO2 in the atmosphere through the full-scale implementation of the CECCU technology at Derby STW. If the technology was rolled out across the entire CHP fleet (including all sectors) in the UK there is a potential long-term benefit of 5 million tCO2 per year and 40 million tCO2 per year across Europe.

Alex Marshall, Group Business Development and Marketing Director at Clarke Energy said:
“We are delighted to have been selected to deliver this innovative carbon capture and conversion system with our long-term valued customer Severn Trent. Biogas engines provide renewable electricity and heat at sites across the world. With the addition of a carbon capture system, we achieve the net effect of reducing carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere which is important for our children’s future”

The second Water Breakthrough Challenge is part of a series of innovation competitions made possible by Ofwat’s £200m Water Innovation Fund. It is delivered by Nesta Challenges, Arup and Isle Utilities. The fund helps stimulate new innovations, enabling the water sector to better meet the evolving needs of customers, society and the environment.

John Russell, Senior Director, Strategy, Finance and Infrastructure at Ofwat said:
“It’s crucial for the water sector to come up with new, innovative ideas to fix the challenges that the sector – and society – faces. The winners revealed today will help develop ideas to save more water, turn captured carbon into useful products, and – ultimately – make the sector more sustainable.

“Ofwat’s Innovation Fund, which provides the prize money for these competitions, exists to help stimulate new and bold initiatives by water companies working in partnership with universities, charities, engineering practices and technology firms. We have much to learn from other sectors and the winners of this round of the competition showcase just how much can be achieved when we collaborate.”

To find out more about the winners of the Water Breakthrough Challenge and Ofwat’s innovation fund, visit

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