Advanced treatment process and biogas production from wastewater with high oil and grease content

  • From Spain
  • Responsive
  • Patents for licensing

Summary of the technology

Researchers at the University of Burgos have developed a process for the anaerobic treatment and biogas production from wastewater with high oil and grease content.
It is known that even low levels of oil and grease produce important upsets of the conventional anaerobic treatment process in long term operation. In the same way, in the MBR technology it is recommended pre-degreasing oily wastewater to avoid fouling problems. However, the anaerobic treatment with membrane biomass retention and the application of advanced fouling control methods let recover the methanogenic potential of lipids making it a robust and competitive treatment method for wastewater with high oil and grease content.


Details of the Technology Offer

New and innovative aspects

Direct treatment of wastewater with high oil and grease content without pre-degreasing. Chemicals costs and sludge production are reduced by doing without the coagulation-flocculation-flotation processes. Oils and grease, according to their chemical composition, have a high methane potential that this process allows to recover.

Main advantages of its use

Adsorption of long chain fatty acids reduces degassing capacity of microbial flocs hindering the ability to settle required in the conventional suspended cultures processes. The proposed technology is based on suspended cultures but the retention takes place by micro or ultrafiltration membrane processes that can fully retain the biomass, even dispersed, regardless of its density.


The membrane anaerobic reactor AnMBR is equipped with submerged hollow fiber modules. The reactor consists of two stages: upflow anaerobic suspended sludge and filtration tank which are in series with recirculation. The separation of the two stages prevents direct contact of the oils and greases with the membranes and facilitates cleaning operations since it allows performing maintenance tasks in the membrane tank without any upset in the anaerobic reactor.
The biomass retention by filtration avoids sludge losses, typical problem of the anaerobic process based on the separation by gravity when are employed in the treatment of wastewater with high oil and grease content.


Treatment of oily wastewater from the food processing industry.

Intellectual property status

Protected by P200201891, U200501010, P200703231

Current development status

Device already developed and validated for industrialization.

Desired business relationship

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

Intellectual property status

Related Keywords

  • Energy Technology
  • Bio-refineries for energy
  • Liquid biofuels
  • Oil and Gas Exploration and Production
  • Biogas
  • biological treatment
  • Food processing wastewater
  • anaerobic membrane bioreactors
  • AnMBR
  • biogas


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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