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Waste-to-Energy for a Pharmaceuticals Producer

Adding an external forced circulation (EFC) reactor to the plant's existing wastewater treatment met the need for high efficiency and cost-effectiveness

Waste-to-Energy for Pharmaceuticals Producer


Sandoz, the generic pharmaceuticals division of Novartis, is a worldwide, trusted leader in generics, with a history spanning more than 120 years. Its strategic and customer-focused approach of developing, producing, and marketing high-quality, affordable medicines has turned Sandoz into one of the largest and most respected generic pharmaceutical companies in the world. Their medicines are already available to 90% of people around the world, and they are committed to further increasing global access to affordable health care.


Sandoz SpA had an aerobic treatment plant for its wastewater, but the energy consumption and surplus sludge production were very high. Because the company wanted to make its operations more sustainable, a new anaerobic pretreatment was installed at the existing plant. The main challenge was to build and start up the plant without interfering with production. Moreover, space for the new installation was very restricted, so the design required customized and detailed planning.


In order to meet the company's unique needs, Fluence Italy designed a mixed anaerobic treatment with an anaerobic digester and a rapid anaerobic reactor, generating biogas through a cogeneration system. The external forced circulation (EFC) reactor -- a waste-to-energy technology completely developed and engineered by Fluence -- meets the need for high efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

To prepare for the plant conversion, Fluence Italy performed six months of pilot tests at its own facility to find the best solution for Sandoz’s economic, structural, and operational requirements.


The 768 m³/d plant produces 2,920 m³/d of methane, 10,900 kWh/d of electrical energy, and 12,600 kWh/d of thermal energy.

Are you interested in waste-to-energy technology for your enterprise's wastewater treatment? Contact Fluence to discuss our sustainable treatment solutions to convert your waste into a resource.


Rovereto, Italy

Sandoz Industrial Products SpA-Novartis Group

Anaerobic digestion plant and biogas desulfurizer

Mixed anaerobic treatment, including an external forced circulation (EFC) reactor and a cogeneration system



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