A carbon-neutral, energy-positive wastewater treatment technology, developed by Irish firm NVP Energy, is now being rolled out at food and beverage plants across the world, following a successful trial at an ABP production site.

NVP Energy is a wastewater technology developed at NUI Galway and pioneered by ABP Food Group, which generates renewable electricity from a form of anaerobic digestion (AD).

NVP Energy’s 'low temperature anaerobic digestion' technology impressed ABP, which embarked on a trial project with the firm at its Lurgan site to test if the energy positive waste-to-methane gas technology could be successfully deployed commercially.

Going full-scale

Following successful trials and knowledge gathering, the companies collaborated to deploy the full-scale system in Lurgan, Co. Armagh.

Today, the treatment plant at Lurgan processes the entire flow of wastewater produced on the site, turning that waste into biogas energy, ideally suited for heat and electricity generation - enough to offset ABP Foods’ gas usage on site by 40%.

ABP’s sustainability manager John Durkan, who oversaw the commissioning by NVP Energy of the flagship sludge-less wastewater treatment plant, said the NVP plant delivered solid, reliable performance right from the outset.

“This project ticked all our boxes. It’s carbon-neutral, sustainable, odourless, cutting-edge technology, low cost of treatment, no sludge production with clean waste water discharge. On top of that, it delivers high-quality methane gas for use on site.

“We are delighted to support home-grown Irish technology, spun out from one of our top universities,” he added.

It’s great to be proven right as NVP Energy are now deploying the technology to other large blue-chip food and beverage companies.

NVP Energy has created 10 full-time jobs as a result of the new commissions that the company has won on the back of the roll-out of its technology at ABP Lurgan.

Currently, systems are deployed and projects are active in dairy processing, brewing, malting and municipal applications.

Low Temperature Anaerobic Digestion

According to the the partnership of companies, waste water from the site is turned into biogas energy using the AD technology.

The process is not temperature-dependent and it produces three times as much energy as it requires to operate.