The biggest single tank high-rate anaerobic reactor in Africa

23 Dec 2020

HydroThane STP and Anchor Yeast successfully commissioned the biggest single tank high-rate anaerobic reactor in Africa.

It is with great pride that HydroThane announces that the new anaerobic treatment plant of Anchor Yeast was successfully commissioned and it is already producing a consistent biogas flow. Anchor Yeast, localized in Durban, is the largest yeast production site in Africa, belonging to the international company Lallemand.

The new anaerobic digestion plant includes the HydroThane STP® ECSB reactor, with a liquid volume of 4500 m3. This is the biggest single tank high-rate anaerobic reactor ever built on the African continent and by HydroThane company, until this date. The reactor is designed to treat the high COD load of 96 ton per day, which translates in a biogas production of around 1070 Nm3/h of biogas, generating approximately 7000 kWh of gross calorific value.

The plant commissioning was initiated in November 2020 and only after 1 day of wastewater feeding towards the reactor, the plant start producing the first cubic meters of biogas. Speaking on the start-up, Mumsy Tlholoe, AD Plant Manager at Anchor Yeast commented: “The start-up it was so quick and smooth, currently we are producing biogas in just a few days! We are glad to have chosen to work with HydroThane as besides their good technology, the service and support is exceptional”. For Mumsy Tlholoe, “the unique settler design which maximizes the biomass retention, the high operating loading rates and the very easy operation”, makes the HydroThane technology the best in the market.

The tender process during this project was highly competitive, but HydroThane’s innovative ECSB (External Circulation Sludge Bed solution) set it apart from all the other competitors, after a convincing pilot research.

The HydroThane STP® ECSB process maximises the conversion of the organic contamination in the production effluent into biogas. “The produced biogas will pass through the HydroThane Caustic Scrubber in order to remove >99% of it H2S content and then we will sell it to our steam supplier, Acacia, which will supply us steam at a significantly lower price. This will largely reduce our production costs!”, explains Mumsy Tlholoe. Besides the biogas profit, Anchor Yeast will also find another source of income from the generated surplus biomass in the ECSB reactor.

“After my experience during the pilot research and be involved in the smooth start-up together with HydroThane, I would absolutely recommend HydroThane technology & services without any hesitation!”
Mumsy Tlholoe
AD Plant Manager, Anchor Yeast