Skip to main content

High performance anaerobic digesters

High performance anaerobic digesters

Lowering production costs and the environmental impact of wineries.

Project leader

Prof Gary Montague


December 2011 to November 2015

Project staff

Prof Elaine Martin


Commission of the European Communities


AEMA S.L.U.; Newcastle University, UK; Gottfried Whilem Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany; Consrzio di Ricerche Applicate alla Biotecnologia, Italy; Institut Franςais de la Vigne et du vin, France


The wine industry processes millions of tons of grapes every year/ This has consequences on the environment. Pollution from wineries is mainly organic. Other pollution sources include mineral residues, earth, grease, detergents and disinfectants, and external contaminants.

We have developed an anaerobic treatment system. The system uses high performance digesters adapted to the treatment of effluent from medium size wineries. Such digesters:

  • lower the energy and operation costs of the plant
  • significantly reduce the production of sludge and residues
  • provide better use of by-products and biogas

AD-WINE created an effective network of research for academic and industrial researchers. Members of the network studied the treatment system and developed a prototype. This offers wineries an alternative to other ways of treating water. It provides countless environmental and economic advantages. It enables the wine sector to meet legislation and European objectives for renewable energy production.

Non-commercial participants were able to imbue their research with practical and commercial value. SMEs found out about cutting edge technology. They had the opportunity to develop innovative products. In turn, this enhanced their growth and expansion prospects.