Wastewater and Waste-to-Energy for Candied Fruit Manufacturer
An anaerobic digester allows an Italian food producer to turn waste into more than enough energy to power the plant
A candied fruit manufacturer sought to double production and simultaneously reduce overall costs while increasing its wastewater treatment capabilities. Fluence provided a custom solution: Wastewater effluents from fruit, candies, and jam are pretreated, then treated in an external forced circulation (EFC) anaerobic reactor. The results include energy production for the plant, and treated effluents that are clean, suitable for reuse, and safe for the environment. Costs at the new plant are 35-40% lower than at the previous one.
In 1963, Angelo Goffi founded Italcanditi, a candied fruit and marrons glacés manufacturer. The company diversified and expanded over the years, and in 2002, Vitalfood-Italcanditi was created. It has since become a European leader in the production of glazed chestnuts, candies, jams, and other ingredients for the food, bakery, and dairy industries.
The company wanted to double production and simultaneously cut costs. To accomplish this, Italcanditi needed to boost its wastewater treatment capabilities to handle large quantities of wastewater. Based on the success of an earlier project, Italcanditi chose Fluence to install and operate a new system for turning waste into biogas. A main challenge, however, was building and activating the plant during the normal operation of the factory without affecting production. The small space available for the new WWTP created another challenge
To handle these necessities, Fluence provided a custom design. The wastewater entering the system first undergoes an anaerobic pretreatment through an EFC reactor, generating biogas. A cogeneration system turns the biogas into electrical and thermal energy, which is fed back into the plant, reducing energy costs. Finally, the remaining wastes are treated by an aerobic stage, supported by biological oxidation and final clarification.
The plant puts out water that is clean, reusable, and safe for the environment. Because the biogas-fired cogenerator produces more energy than needed to run the plant, the un-needed electricity can be sold.