Roche Diagnostics Plans Anaerobic Wastewater Plant for Germany Facility

Sept. 20, 2010
Aquantis will build the plant, which will use wastewater to create energy

Pharmaceutical company Roche Diagnostics has decided to build a new anaerobic plant for the biological pre-processing of a partial wastewater flow at its Penzberg site in Upper Bavaria, Germany. The plant, which produces energy-rich biogas, will supplement an existing membrane system. The anaerobic plant will be built by Aquantis, a subsidiary of Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies.

The new system will pretreat partial wastewater flows that are especially rich in carbon and biologically degradable liquid waste from the bio-technological production. The plant will employed a 480 cu meter Biobed Expanded Granular Sludge Bed (EGSB) reactor for the biological treatment. In the course of this process, energy-rich biogas is produced, collected and processed. The gas will be used in a combined heat and power plant in site's boiler house to generate both forms of energy. The amount of electricity gained will cover more than 90% of the wastewater treatment plant’s energy needs, and the heat energy will be used to pre-heat the boiler feedwater in the Energy Centre. Further savings will be achieved by the elimination of the previous upstream aerobic high-load stage. The carbon dioxide emission will be reduced by about 950 metric tons a year, giving the facility a sustainable reduction of its carbon footprint. Assembly of the anaerobic plant is planned for March 2011, and start-up for Nov. 2011. The project was planned by the consulting engineering office of Dr. Resch in Weissenburg, Germany.

According to Veolia, The Biobed system has so far successfully proved itself in more than 500 reference plants around the world, of which the Aquantis experts alone have built 60 large-scale plants. The determining factor for the Roche company's decision in favour of a Biobed system was the mature process technology that has been proven many times in practice. The company convinced itself in advance of its decision by comparing the operating experience of the reference plants of various competitors. This evaluation led Roche to award the contract to Aquantis.

The 350,000-sq. meter Penzburg plant is one Europe’s largest biotech centers with 4,600 employees, and one of the leading biotechnology research, development and production Roche Group centers worldwide.

Source: Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies