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Improving the treatment of factory waste water in Italy

Environment & natural resources
Published 2021
casteggio wastewater plant-2021

AB Mauri’s Casteggio factory has produced yeast for use in baking, wine making, spirit distillation and the pharmaceutical industry since the 1950s. AB Mauri acquired the factory in 2007 and have invested consistently in making it more efficient and sustainable. The factory currently employs around 200 people.

Casteggio provides a great example of circular economics in action. The whole production process starts and finishes in the fields, creating a virtuous circle. Yeast is a living organism bred in molasses that is derived from beet or cane sugar. The residues created during yeast fermentation, known as ‘vinasse’, are converted into useful co-products that are returned to the fields as natural fertilisers or feed for livestock.

As part of AB Mauri’s ongoing investment in state-of-the-art technology to support economic and environmental sustainability, the engineering team at Casteggio has completely redesigned the process used to treat effluent waters, investing almost €5 million over several years to achieve better-quality effluent water and reduce environmental impacts.

The new plant uses an initial nanofiltration system followed by four different biological processes to treat effluent water. With an increased capacity the plant removes nitrogen and other compounds, improves the colour of wastewater, and uses significantly fewer chemicals to do so, further enhancing its environmental footprint and energy efficiency. In addition, the biogas generated during the anaerobic phase of effluent treatment is recovered for use in yeast production.

Furthermore, the Casteggio plant carries out more than 50 analyses every day to measure water quality at different stages of the treatment process.

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