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Veolia Water Solutions and Technologies subsidiary Aquantis is to build an anaerobic plant for Roche Diagnostics for the biological pre-treatment of a partial wastewater flow at the Penzberg site.

The plant, which produces energy-rich biogas, will supplement an existing membrane bioreactor system.

The new system is to pre-treat partial wastewater flows, especially rich in carbon as well as biologically degradable liquid waste from the biotechnological production.

A 480m3 Biobed EGSB reactor (expanded granular sludge bed) will be used 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 the Penzberg site boiler house to generate both forms of energy.

The amount of electricity thus gained will cover more than 80 per cent of the energy requirements of the wastewater treatment plant, and the thermal energy will be used to preheat the boiler feedwater of the power station.

Further savings will be achieved by eliminating the upstream aerobic high-load step.

The CO2 emission will be reduced by about 950 metric tons per year, so that Roche Penzberg will achieve a sustainable reduction of its carbon footprint.

Assembly of the anaerobic plant is planned for the end of March 2011 and start-up for November 2011.

More than 500 Biobed reference plants have been installed worldwide, of which the Aquantis team has built 60 plants.

The key factor for Roche’s decision in favour of a Biobed system was the proven process technology.

Roche compared operating experiences of various reference plants by selected suppliers.

This evaluation was favourable for the Biobed system so that Roche decided to award the contract to Aquantis.

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