Clearfleau - food processing waste treatment

Food Processing Waste

Reducing food processing residues treatment costs and environmental impact

The food industry faces ongoing pressure to cut costs and to reduce its carbon and environmental footprint. Many food companies are being hit by increased trade effluent charges and disposal costs. Clearfleau’s on-site AD plants will reduce discharge costs for liquid effluents including:

  • Waste water arising from food processing
  • Wash down residues and effluents
  • Blancher liquors or process condensates
  • Unused ingredients and co-products
  • Other bio-waste and reject products

Liquid anaerobic digestion is an ideal process for treatment of food processing residues, including sugars, oils or fats, converting volatile solids into biogas to generate renewable energy. Clearfleau systems can be integrated with existing treatment systems. An important reference plant in the food sector is on the Nestlé confectionery site at Fawdon.

Potential financial benefits of on-site digestion include:

  • Reduced costs for sewer discharge and off site waste disposal
  • Revenue from FITs and the RHI for on site energy generation
  • Reduced costs for purchase of electricity and other fossil fuels
  • For some sites, tax savings from reducing the carbon footprint

Information on flows and loads is used to evaluate biogas and payback potential. On-site trials with our mobile unit (Small Scale Production Plant – SSPP) can be undertaken to optimise performance and provide process guarantees. It is also possible to include higher solid residues in the liquid based digestion system as is the case at Nestlé Fawdon.

In addition to cutting effluent disposal costs, the food sector is being encouraged to use less water and recycle more. The reduction in COD load by over 95% in the digestion process creates the opportunity for recycling grey water to replace existing supplies, for boiler feed water and other non sensitive uses.

Clearfleau is focused on cost effective generation of biogas from liquid effluent that can be a major cost burden to many food processors. On-site anaerobic treatment not only reduces costs but also generates revenue. With suitable liquid food processing waste, net revenue from anaerobic treatment can be significant.


UK Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control regulations (IPPC) require companies to make continual improvements in environmental practices. ISO 14001 requires periodic environmental audits. Investment in renewable energy and water recycling is eligible for enhanced capital allowances (ECAs). The industry also needs to reduce energy consumption and its carbon footprint, to reduce its CRC tax commitments.

Food Processing Waste

Food Processing Waste

Food Processing Waste