Skip to main content

Advanced Multistage Sequential Wastewater Treatment Technology

Article Category

Article available in the folowing languages:

Next level agri-food industrial wastewater treatment

Wastewater management is a key challenge for the agri-food sector due to the complicated treatment that its high organic load imposes. A revolutionary biological and energy-generating technology can treat this wastewater efficiently and cost-effectively.

Climate Change and Environment
Industrial Technologies

The agri-food industry, made up chiefly of SMEs, is the largest manufacturing sector in the EU in terms of employment and added value. For this type of industry, water is an essential input: It represents approximately 1.8 % of total water use in Europe. On average, water use for the manufacture of food and beverage products is 4.9 m³/inhabitant. Treating the wastewater generated by the sector’s intensive water use is challenging, as it has a high organic matter load. Moreover, water scarcity and the high cost of water treatments used to date impose the need for effective alternative solutions requiring less investment and lower operating costs. Enter ANAERGY, an EU-funded project with a disruptive biological technology to treat wastewater from the agri-food industry. "The heterogeneity and seasonality of the agri-food sector produce a wide variety of wastewater flows that require more efficient and customised solutions to comply with increasingly stringent wastewater regulations," says Laura Espada, head of chemical R&D at Ingeobras. The project team created a tailor-made solution, integrating – for the first time – anaerobic, aerobic and advanced mineralisation stages. "We provide small and medium industries with hi-tech technology that is currently only available for large plants and investments. We design fully automated compact plug-and-play plants that guarantee a smaller investment and much more effective operating costs than the traditional technologies used in the market," explains Joaquín Murría Martín, CEO of Ingeobras and project coordinator.

Cost-effectiveness meets environmental responsibility

The ANAERGY technology is beneficial for both the user and the environment. Combining robust structure and modularity, the system allows savings in installation and assembly costs of up to 50 %. Moreover, it is utterly flexible, configurable and customisable to meet the needs of each user. The residence time is much smaller than traditional solutions, so the system size is limited and the investment lower. Its small size guarantees temperature maintenance and heat loss avoidance, to the benefit of operational costs; these stay at the lowest possible level also thanks to ANAERGY’s high contaminant removal rate. The treated water can be returned to the environment without further treatment.

Progress and dissemination against all odds

The ANAERGY project received EU funding for the second time in a row during the period from 2019 to 2021. In these 24 months, the multidisciplinary project team improved the anaerobic digester, standardised the integration modules, fabricated a test bench, developed protocols of a consistent industrial process and established a commercial department. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the commercial strategy had to be totally adapted and there were travel and transportation limitations. However, ANAERGY has already reached its commercial phase successfully, with its plants being installed in industries across the globe. From a poultry production company in Spain, to a mining company in Ecuador, a series of enterprises have adopted this innovative solution for their wastewater management. “We will continue developing our commercial activities and optimising our technology,” concludes Murría Martin.


ANAERGY, wastewater, water, agri-food, wastewater management, treat, treatment, mineralisation

Discover other articles in the same domain of application