CCm Technologies is an award-winning clean tech company which optimises resource use through
Carbon Utilisation (CCU) and carbon capture solutions, including the production of net zero carbon
fertilisers. CCm’s innovative and collaborative solutions allow a wide range of businesses to generate commercial value from captured carbon and other agricultural and industrial waste streams while also delivering improved sustainability.
Based near Oxford, CCm Technologies was established in 2011 by four founding directors, all of whom still work for the company at board level: Gordon Horsfield CBE, Pawel Kisielewski, Professor Peter Hammond and Richard Morse. It is a member of the Sustainable Markets Council, an initiative of HRH The Prince of Wales with the support of the World Economic Forum. The company has also received the Solar Impulse Foundation Efficient Solutions Label.
See Sustainable Markets Initiative’s RE:TV short video here for further information:
CCm’s technology uses captured carbon dioxide from industrial power generators ranging from low
CO2 concentration flue gas from any combustion process to high purity CO2 from biogas separation
procedures. This captured CO2 is used to stabilise a wide variety of materials (such as ammonia and
phosphates) from agricultural and industrial waste streams and use these to create new fertilisers
products with significantly lower carbon and resource footprints than those products conventionally
CCm’s full-scale demonstration plant has been fully operational for over two years and producing
significant quantities of ultra-low-carbon footprint fertiliser materials in solid and liquid formats. The
process at the centre of CCm’s fertiliser production system combines an organic fibre, ammonia and
CO2. The fibre is coated in ammonia which serves to capture CO2 by absorption. The CO2 in turn
stabilises the ammonia and allows it to be converted into a more useful form. At this stage, further
nutrients, such as nitrogen and potassium from anaerobic digestion, can be added from other waste
or recycled materials either to utilise a particularly abundant feedstock or to achieve a particular
1 - Utilisation of waste streams – promoting a circular economy
CCm’s systems produce high value, high performance materials from low or negative value inputs or
feedstocks: the waste component of CCm’s fertiliser is up to 90%, including components which could
otherwise have ended up in landfill or discharged into water courses. The utilisation of existing
resources reduces a) the demand for finite elements such as phosphorus, and b) the reliance on highly
energy-intensive processes, which are usually involved in fertiliser production. It also allows low value
materials and wastes held within anaerobic digestion or similar operations to be transformed into
substantial resources with real value, providing a financial as well as environmental incentive for
This recycling potential for waste streams has particular applications for three key UK sectors:
anaerobic-digestion based water and wastewater operations, food manufacturing and processing, and
agriculture. Key waste ‘feedstocks’ that can be drawn from these industries include carbon, nitrous and sulphurous oxides, fibrous and particulate organic waste streams, and phosphate and ammonia rich solid and liquid waste streams.
For example, with regards to wastewater treatment, the CCm process is able to use nutrient-rich
sludge digestate or centrate – a waste stream from the dewatering process – as the source of
ammonia. This reduces and possibly eliminates the cost (environmental and financial) of transporting
sludge and biosolids to land, while creating a completely new revenue stream through the sale of
fertiliser. A separate application in the sewage sector extracts valuable nutrients such as phosphorus
and ammonia from effluents, which are a major pollution risk when discharged into watercourses, and
instead recycles these into biogenic fertiliser products.
2 - Reduction of carbon emissions – contributing to the UK’s net zero target
Current agricultural practices result in the production of approximately 10% of all UK greenhouse
gases, as well as specifically increasing both ammonia and phosphate emissions and water pollution.
While a reduction in coal-fired power stations enabled the UK to reduce emissions by 16% annually
from 2012-2016, decarbonisation of other sectors, such as agriculture, has been significantly lower
and must now be a major focus for action.
By targeting the massive carbon footprints associated with conventional fertiliser production, which
it can reduce by more than 90% depending on the formulation in question, CCm’s technology can
contribute meaningfully to the UK’s objective of net zero carbon by 2050.
Carbon savings associated with CCm’s fertiliser production result from:
- The direct capture and utilisation of waste CO2 during the production process
- The replacement of high-intensity inputs (i.e. the energy-intensive production of large
volumes of ammonia, phosphates and carbon dioxide) by recovered ones, which produces a
large avoidance of primary carbon use
- The retention of carbon-based materials within the fertiliser matrix ensures high levels of
carbon retention and storage in the soil, contributing to the restoration of soil organic carbon
and overall fertility.
Through a combination of the above, a standard CCm unit producing approximately 10,000 tonnes of
fertiliser could generate carbon savings of approximately 40,000 tonnes CO2e per year. The deployment of 50 units in the UK could therefore result in emissions avoidance equivalent to removing
around 375,000 cars off the road each year, meaning CCm products are not only low-carbon but in
many cases climate-positive.
3 - Ensuring high yields and low costs alongside environmental benefits – facilitating farmers’
Extensive trials over six years over six years have demonstrated that CCm’s products are industry matching, meaning that farmers can select a lower-carbon option without threatening their yields or
Recent independent trials of CCm’s fertilisers versus current commercial fossil fuel-derived
equivalents demonstrated similar yield and protein quality outcomes with around 10% less nitrogen
and phosphate applied. While equalling or outperforming conventional products in terms of yield
(crop biomass enhanced by up to 38% - Lake et al. (2019)) and protein quality, CCm fertilisers vastly
exceed them in environmental performance. In addition to the emissions reduction and recycling
opportunities outlined above, field trial data has demonstrated additional environmental benefits,
- Enhanced nutrient delivery which targets phosphate and potassium balance at source to
- Enhanced bio-floral and faunal activity – c. 20% increases in microbial activity, directly
contributing positively to overall soil health.
- Enhanced soil water and nutrient retention (of up to 62% - Lake et al. (2019)) close to the root
ball of the plant, contributing to lower nitrogen and phosphate run-off and therefore reducing
pollution of water.
- Increased retention of carbon in soil, contributing to improved soil health.
- Soil pH increases of c.1 unit – beneficial effects on soil ecosystem services, particularly in
respect of water quality.
- With regards to wastewater treatment, CCm’s process is able to use nutrient-rich sludge
digestate or centrate (a waste stream from the dewatering process) as the source of ammonia,
reducing and possibly eliminating the environmental and financial cost of transporting sludge
and biosolids by road to land.
CCm’s technologies are sufficiently advanced that they can be deployed immediately and the supply
chains and delivery mechanisms that currently supply UK agriculture can be used to deliver them (e.g.
CCm pellets can be manufactured with exactly the same dimensions and characteristics allowing
farmers to retain existing equipment and be assured that there will be no difference in spreading
By drawing on end-of-use materials as substantial inputs and involving a low-energy manufacturing
process, CCm has created a range of materials whose sale price is directly competitive with existing
products and which is financially viable on a standalone basis without reliance on government
subsidies or incentives.
For all of these reasons, farmers do not pay a higher cost or risk losses in yield by taking a sustainable
approach and choosing a zero carbon fertiliser using CCm’s process.
The Sustainable Markets Initiative and Council, of which CCm Technologies’ CEO Pawel Kisielewski is
a founding member, was established in 2019 by HRH The Prince of Wales and the World Economic
Forum. Its objective is to accelerate the global transition to sustainable markets and decarbonisation.
The initiative is calling on governments, businesses, investors and consumers to take the urgent and
practical steps required to transition to more sustainable practices which address the climate and
biodiversity crises. To facilitate and catalyse this effort, The Prince of Wales is convening a series of
global industry and sector roundtables.
In September 2020, Pepsico and CCm signed a deal to implement CCm’s carbon utilisation and removal process technology to use captured carbon dioxide to stabilise ammonia from the waste streams of Pepsico and its supply chain.
Specifically, CCm’s technology will be used to manufacture low-carbon, nutrient-rich fertilisers using
potato peel waste from the crisp production supply chain, which will go directly back into the fields
growing potatoes for Walkers crisps, helping to close the loop and improve soil health. By increasing
the recovered resource input, use of the fertilisers is expected to reduce Walkers’ carbon emissions
from growing potatoes by 70% and could set them on the path to carbon-negative potato production
over the next decade.
CCm’s specialist equipment will first be installed at the Walkers factory in Leicester next year, with a
joint ambition to deploy the technology further European potato processing facilities and potentially
to expand to other crops such as oat and corn.
Currently, waste carbon dioxide is recovered from beer fermentation, the largest and cleanest
source of food grade carbon dioxide in the UK. The fertiliser trialled on this year’s crop used Walkers
potato offcuts alongside CO2 captured in the beer brewing process. As the technology is rolled out
to Walkers supplier farms more broadly, PepsiCo will be looking at ways to source the carbon
dioxide from its own supply chain.