Wastewater treatment for the sugar industry

Our ANAFIT®.CS anaerobic reactors are so efficient and reliable that almost all sugar factories in Germany are equipped with them. They reduce COD by more than 95 per cent.

Sugar can be made from sugar beet or sugar cane. The sugar industry in the European Union mainly relies on sugar beet. This fruit contains about 70 per cent water, which is produced as waste water at various points in the production process.

The beets are processed seasonally. In Germany, the so-called beet campaign usually lasts from September to January. If necessary, there may be additional thick juice campaigns. Therefore the waste water treatment plants only work temporarily. Due to the large amount of waste water, sugar factories are always direct dischargers.

The most important waste water streams are the flume water and the condensate. Flume water circuits are used to clean the delivered sugar beets. They are alkaline since lime is added to prevent corrosion, biological activity and the associated development of odours. The resulting flume water contains a lot of calcium and has a high concentration of COD and beet soil, i.e. solids. During the subsequent juice thickening process, condensate is produced which is used to the greatest extent possible in other production steps. Excess condensate is discharged to the waste water treatment plant. Although it contains few solids (Total Suspended Solids, TSS for short) and COD, it contains medium concentrations of nitrogen compounds.

Due to the high COD concentration in the flume water, anaerobic waste water treatment is the method of choice. With ANAFIT®.CS, the contact sludge system from H+E, calcium-rich waste water can be treated without any problems due to several modifications in the technical equipment.

The anaerobically pre-treated flume water and the excess condensate are then treated together in an aerobic stage. This is where the BIOFIT®.N system comes into play. With this combination of nitrification and denitrification, we succeed in removing the remaining COD and eliminating the nitrogen compounds. Together with our AEROFIT®.D, a robust, coarse-bubble aeration system for calcium-rich waste water, and the medium-bubble AEROFIT®.V, we achieve maximum operational reliability.

In addition to waste water treatment, H+E offers sugar factories mechanical sludge dewatering with centrifuges. Compared to sedimentation ponds, this technology is very space-saving and an interesting alternative for customers who lack space.

Advantages of the ANAFIT®.CS from H+E at a glance:

  • Uniform mixing in the anaerobic reactor through biogas injection
  • Good mixing during start-up due to additional agitators
  • Targeted removal of lime sludge from the reactor
  • Separation and recirculation of biomass
  • Very few fixtures and therefore very few limescale deposits


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