Waste water treatment for the dairy, meat and food processing industry

integral waste water treatment, based on anaerobic UASB technology

Posted on 4 March 2015


The milk processing factory Covalact in Sfântu Gheorghe (Romania) has benefit from the first pilot installation of a high performance biological waste water treatment with energy recovery via biogas production.


The demonstration of a sustainable technology for the integral anaerobic treatment of waste water containing substantial amounts of fats and proteins by realizing a pilot installation to satisfy the need for a demonstration pilot and technology validation platform.


The development of a reactor capable of an integral treatment of fats and proteins (without any pretreatment step). The anaerobic treatment converts the organic matter (including fats and proteins) into biogas. The biogas thus formed can be used in existing boiler systems for the production of hot water and/or steam. This approach introduces a means of sustainable energy production from organic material present in the waste water, because the use of fossil fuels (natural gas / oil) can be significantly reduced.

Current status
Preparing implementation of the technology at full scale.


Closing the nutrient cycle (P, N & S) during waste water treatment, the production of sustainable energy (biogas) and on nutrient recovery.

Spin off
Applications in dairy, meat and food processing industry.

Technologies used

The process - The waste water is continuously fed in an anaerobic reactor (UASB) by a system which ensures an equal distribution of the fresh feed throughout the reactor resulting in an optimal exchange between influent and the bacteria. The waste water passes through the (granular) biomass layers (sludge blanket) in the reactor during which the biological conversion of the COD takes place according to the reaction scheme: C6H12O6 -> 3CO2 + 3CH4

At the top of the reactor the water, the biogas and the biomass are separated by means of a 3-phase separator.

Project location

Project partners

  • Colsen B.V.