Treatment plant of Severn Trent. Credits: Severn Trent
Severn Trent is a member of REWAISE’s consortium, and this organisation will start working on another EU-funded project in September 2023. This new project has the goal of building the world’s first carbon neutral wastewater treatment in Staffordshire (West Midlands, England) by transforming a large and carbon intensive Wastewater Treatment Plant. Promising technologies will be integrated in this plant to eradicate 34.000 tonnes of carbon per year. Translated into everyday life’s numbers, this figure is equivalent to a person flying between London and New York 34.500 times.
Among the technologies used throughout the duration of the project, the advanced digestion and ‘gas to grid’ have the potential to change the face of wastewater management around the world. Furthermore, there will be new processes on site, such as a technology called Actilayer from the SUEZ waste and water group, a novel cover for sludge plants that reduces the levels of nitrous oxide, to low them using catalytic material and the power of sunlight.
As a reduction of methane emissions and of natural gas consumption is pursued, as well as the production of additional biogas, the combination of different technologies from several expert companies will be applied. Atkins, Explore AI, Siemens and Xylem will help Severn Trent to optimise technologies and apply those learnings to the treatment plant through Digital Twin Technology.
Additionally, Eliquo Hydrok will be working on sludge optimisation by extracting more biogas with a vacuum; the optimisation of the digestion process will be performed by Royal HaskoningDHV through Eyphra technology; CAMBI, a leader in thermal hydrolysis, will help to minimise the need for heat through the digestion processes.
“Coming together to share ideas and collaborating to combat climate change is key, that’s why we’re committed to sharing our carbon neutral hub’s blueprint with all other water companies, so wastewater treatment plants around the world can be retrofitted with these new technologies that we’re rolling out at scale”, said Liv Garfield, CEO of Severn Trent.
This cutting-edge initiative is backed-up by all the United Kingdom and Irish water companies, as well as the Net Zero Partnership with Aarhus Vand in Denmark and Melbourne Water in Australia.
Regarding the funding of the project, Severn Trent is one of the 16 solutions awarded with around €46 million in the Water Breakthrough Challenge to help to tackle the biggest challenges facing the water sector. Severn Trent will invest about close to €32 million for this project, Ofwat Innovation Fund is supporting the net-zero hub with €11 million, and the Horizon Europe Programme will bring approximately €1 million.