Reducing the strength of effluent before discharge

Anaerobic digestion optimisation case study with Coca-Cola.
The issue

The Coca-Cola Enterprises manufacturing site in Wakefield is the largest soft drinks plant by volume in Europe and can produce 6,000 cans of soft drink every minute, creating approximately 100 cans per second.


It has used anaerobic digestion (AD) technology to treat liquid waste effluent from 1989, being one of the first to pioneer this technology. However, over time, changes to production patterns and effluent composition since the plant opened created challenges in maximising the plant’s potential.

The solution

On a monthly basis since 2011, Aqua Enviro, a SUEZ company, has been providing expertise and operational support to the soft drinks manufacturer, Coca-Cola Enterprises – the world’s third largest independent Coca-Cola bottler to help the company minimize its impact on the environment and achieve its long-term sustainability goals.T


The AD plant now reduces the ‘strength’ of effluent by up to 90 per cent before it is discharged, a process that significantly reduces demand on the municipal wastewater treatment works, enabling cost savings for Coca-Cola Enterprises. The facility treats sugar, fruit products and other waste materials within the effluent. Biogas is then produced from the AD process, collected and used in biogas boilers, this renewable energy source displaces natural gas which would otherwise be required.


Aqua Enviro scientists have also used their knowledge to help train operatives at the site and build environmental awareness amongst employees.


Anaerobic digestion – a treatment that breaks down waste in the absence of oxygen to produce biogas – can add major benefits to businesses.


Optimisation of existing anaerobic digestion plants can greatly reduce business costs, help company’s corporate social responsibility credentials and generate renewable energy.

Working with Coca-Cola Enterprises demonstrates the benefits committing to an environmental sustainability plan can bring to a business. By creating renewable energy on site, CCE is helping to reduce carbon emissions, save...

Matthew Smyth-Technical Director at Aqua Enviro