Anaerobic treatment of biodegradable waste liquids

  • From Spain
  • Responsive
  • Patents for licensing

Summary of the technology

Bioreactor formed by two connected closed tanks (anaerobic digestion tank and filtration tank) for the anaerobic treatment of complex wastewater with biogas production.
A support material is used, in a non-arranged way, increasing the active biomass accumulation capacity and allowing downwards flow in the digestion tank.


New and innovative aspects

Anaerobic membrane bioreactor technology is currently used with good removal efficiencies, but it presents high installation and operation costs.

This new technology uses plastic carriers for the biomass retention in the anaerobic digestion tank and gas-lift recirculation in the filtration tank, reducing the damage caused to the biomass by pumping.

Biomass adhesion on the support material allows water flow direction downwards in the digestion tank, without the biomass sweeping that would take place in suspended-culture reactors.

Main advantages of its use

  • The active biomass accumulation capacity and its treatment capacity are increasing due to the use of the support material.
  • The frequency of the membrane cleaning operations is reduced, and its lifetime is increased as a consequence of the decrease in the solids deposition over the membranes surface.
  • The recirculation associated to gas bubbling, by the effect known as gas-lift, reduces the pumping costs and, specially, the mechanical stress caused by the use of electromechanical pumps that damages the biomass and deteriorates the effluent quality.


The technical issue solved by this technology is that allows keeping high active biomass concentrations in the digestion tank and low suspended solids concentration in the internal streams. This reduces the membrane fouling, with the aim of increasing the efficiency and efficacy of the system.

Organic matter removal efficiency can reach values of 91-98%, with a biogas production of 460-490 l/kg COD, with a methane content of 60-70% on a dry basis, depending on the composition of organic matter of the wastewater.


The potential market is wide in the field of improving waste water treatment processes.

The main industries in which these technologies are used are:

  • Biofuels
  • Breweries
  • Dairy industry
  • Distilleries and wine cellars
  • Slaughterhouses and meat by-products
  • Fishing industry
  • Canned food
  • Convenience food
  • Pulp and paper industry
  • Pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry
  • Chemical industry

Intellectual property status

Protected by PCT/ES2018/070461.

Current development status

An operational pilot plant is installed in an industrial slaughterhouse.

Desired business relationship

Commercial agreement, License agreement, Technical cooperation: further development, Technical Cooperation: testing of new applications; Technical cooperation: adaptation to specific needs.

Intellectual property status

Related Keywords

  • Energy Technology
  • Agrofood Industry
  • Protecting Man and Environment
  • Energy Market
  • Industrial Products
  • Other


The aim of the The Technology Transfer Office (TTO) of the Univesidad de Burgos is to promote Innovation technology through the reseach results transfer and the conexions between the University and the new needs and requirements of the society - we are the link between the University and the Industry. Contact person: José Manuel López (


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