The Newcastle spinout helping to reduce the energy needs and carbon footprint of wastewater treatment

Pictured (l-r) Chris Thomas, Chief Commercial Officer of METzero Technologies, Dr Elizabeth Heidrich and Dr Pavlina Theodosiou

METzero Technologies, a Newcastle University and Northern Accelerator-supported spinout, is part of a new project aiming to reduce energy needs and carbon footprint in wastewater treatment.

The METREAU project will see the first use of microbial electrochemical technologies at a commercial scale for wastewater treatment.

Northumbrian Water is leading the project, with partners at Newcastle University, METZero Technologies, Isle Utilities, Yorkshire Water, Thames Water and Irish Water. The project is part of Ofwat’s Innovation Fund. The fund announced 17 winners from the fourth Water Breakthrough Challenge, a £40 million competition that invited solutions with the potential to deliver wide-scale, transformational change benefitting customers, society and the environment.

Dr Elizabeth Heidrich, CEng. MIWater – Senior Lecturer in Environmental Engineering Newcastle University and Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of METzero Technologies explains:

“This has been a long journey from very early exploratory lab studies creating new knowledge, to designing and implementing real-world solutions. We get the amazing naturally occurring bugs in wastewater to generate electrical current, using this to treat the wastewater and recover resources. Ultimately we want to turn wastewater treatment facilities into resource recovery hubs.

“Our long standing collaboration with Northumbrian Water has made all of this is possible. We are very excited about this next chapter.”

Dr Pavlina Theodosiou, CEO and co-founder of METzero Technologies adds:

“This is a pivotal moment for METzero Technologies. I am incredibly excited about our key role in the METREAU project. We’re eager to implement microbial electrochemical technologies on a commercial scale, contributing in decarbonising wastewater treatment. This collaborative project is a testament to our innovative spirit and commitment to sustainability.”

The Water Breakthrough Challenge is part of a series of competitions from Ofwat, run by Challenge Works with Arup and Isle Utilities. The challenge is designed to drive innovation and collaboration in the sector to benefit individuals, society and the environment.

Spinning out – Northern Accelerator support

METzero spun out from Newcastle University, with support from Northern Accelerator. Founder and CEO Dr Pavlina Theodosiou, attended our Future Founders course and benefitted from support through the Executives into Business programme.