Twin ADI-BVF® Reactors Pretreat Abbott Laboratories’ Pharmaceutical Wastewater

Location: USA • Sector: Chemical & Pharmaceutical

The Client:
Abbott Laboratories is an American pharmaceuticals and health care products company headquartered in North Chicago, Illinois, USA. The company operates in over 130 countries worldwide.

The Client’s Needs:
Abbott Laboratories needed to investigate the anaerobic treatability of its plant’s bacillus thuringiensis (BT) and fermentation wastewater. ADI Systems was commissioned to carry out a pilot study on the wastewater generated at its pharmaceutical operation.

The Solution:
ADI Systems’ pilot study was such a success, it led to the design and construction of a full-scale low-rate anaerobic ADI-BVF® system for Abbott Laboratories.

The primary component of the full-scale system is twin BVF® reactors that operate in parallel. Each reactor employs two low-speed, intermittently operated mixers and a sludge recycling/wasting system. Together, they have a combined reactive volume of 8.5 MG (32,176 m3). Following the anaerobic reactors, the wastewater receives aerobic polishing prior to discharge.

In order to harness the green energy potential inherent in anaerobic digestion, both reactors are covered with insulated, floating covers.

Another feature included in the design of the wastewater treatment solution is a state-of-the-art control system. It monitors the biogas handling, pumps, instrumentation, and all safety features incorporated within the BVF® system. The control system provides graphic displays, reports, alarm logging, and data archiving, allowing for comprehensive records of the wastewater treatment system over time.

Process start-up, inspection services, and a detailed operations manual were also supplied by ADI Systems as part of the project.

The Results:
The BVF® system is simple to operate, cost-effective, and most importantly, provides reliable pretreatment of this difficult-to-digest pharmaceutical wastewater. The anticipated savings in sludge handling and disposal costs was a major driving force in the decision to choose ADI Systems’ technology.

The floating cover on each of the BVF® reactors not only collects valuable biogas, but also helps control odors and temperature. The biogas produced is used in plant boilers, helping to save on heating costs.