Anaergy Ingeobras

The food and drink industry is the largest manufacturing sector in the EU in terms of employment and value added. It employs over 4.72 million workers in more than 294,000 enterprises.

The agri-food industry is a growth industry, as EU food and drink exports have doubled in the last 10 years to over 90,000 million euros and have contributed to a positive balance of almost 30,000 million.

However, it is a sector mainly made up of SMEs. Small and medium-sized companies represent 47.5% of food and beverage turnover and 60.8% of employment. The development of water treatment solutions adapted to the characteristics of an SME is absolutely essential.

For this type of industry, water is an essential resource for the development of its productive activity. Drinking water is used for the initial washing of foodstuffs, the processing of raw materials, the cleaning of equipment and as a tool for the process of preserving and finalising raw materials into fully finished products. All this leads to high water consumption, which represents approximately 1.8% of total water use in Europe, the average water consumption being 4.9 m3/inhabitant. Although it is true that these figures vary considerably between countries and their water reuse policies.

Intensive water use generates wastewater with a high organic matter load (COD) that makes treatment very difficult. Moreover, not all companies produce the same type of wastewater. It depends on the final product they produce (wine, milk, beer, beverages, food, etc.) and requires treatments adapted to the specific characteristics of that type of wastewater.

Water scarcity and the high cost of traditionally used water treatments are becoming a real challenge for the sector. There is an urgent need for effective alternative solutions with lower investment and operating costs than the current solutions offered on the market.

Our solution

ANAERGY is a proprietary disruptive technology, funded by the EU SMEi Phase2 programme, for the efficient treatment of water discharges in the small and medium-sized food industry. The solution removes 95% of COD in wastewater, minimising the area required and the consumption of energy and chemicals. All this results in reduced operating and maintenance costs. ANAERGY is a modular and tailor-made technology that integrates different processes in the whole system, being fully adaptable to the customer’s requirements.

ANAERGY technology provides both the user and the environment with multiple benefits such as:

  • The residence time is shorter than traditional solutions, going from days to hours. The size is smaller and the investment is lower. In addition, the smaller size maintains the operating temperature and avoids heat loss, thus saving operational costs.
  • It is a robust system but at the same time easy to install thanks to its modularity. This allows savings in installation and assembly costs of up to 50%.
  • As a modular system, it can be configured and customised to meet the needs of each user, it is totally flexible.
  • It has two reactors, which depending on the type of water to be treated can be adjusted with different types of treatments to suit the specific needs of the matrix of the type of water to be treated.
  • Water treated with ANAERGY can be returned to the environment without further treatment thanks to its high contaminant removal rate. Thanks to its modularity, our technology can remove everything from high amounts of nitrogen in its various forms to high organic loads. This means huge savings in space and operating costs.
  • It is the first time that aerobic, anaerobic and advanced oxidation technology has been integrated. At the moment there are no other alternative solutions on the market like ANAERGY.
  • Technology is optimised to the maximum to reduce the associated operating and investment costs.
  • Fully automated system with the possibility of real-time remote management.

To demonstrate the effectiveness of the technology, INGEOBRAS has carried out small and large-scale tests in a pilot plant set up for this project.

Over 24 months, two water samples per day have been analysed daily to ensure the correct operation of the plant and to obtain reliable results from the technologies.

After having completed the testing phase with very positive and promising results, INGEOBRAS begins with the commercial phase of this technology.