Waste-to-Energy: EFC Anaerobic Reactor in Bergamo, Italy

WWT/EFC Reactor
Country: Italy
Solution Type: Waste-to-Energy
Technology Used: WWT/EFC Reactor
Client: Vitalfood Italcanditi

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In 1963 Angelo Goffi founded Italcanditi, a candied fruit and marron glacés manufacturer. The company diversified and expanded over the years and in 2002, Vitalfood-Italcanditi was created, which has become a European leader in the production of glazed chestnuts, candies, jams and other ingredients for the food, bakery and dairy industries.


The company sought to double production and simultaneously cut costs. To accomplish this, Italcanditi needed to boost its wastewater treatment capabilities. They decided to install a system to purify large quantities of wastewater and were able to make a profit by selling the energy they produced with the system. Based on the success of an earlier project, Italcanditi chose RWL Water to install and operate a new system for turning waste into biogas, but there were special challenges. The main challenge was to build and activate the plant during the normal operation of the factory, making sure the production was not affected by the construction of the plant. The small space available for the new WTTP created another challenge.


To handle these necessities, RWL Water provided a custom design. The wastewater entering the system first undergoes pre-treatment then final treatment in an EFC anaerobic reactor generating biogas. A cogeneration system, supported by biological oxidation and final clarification, turns the biogas into electrical and thermal energy, which is fed back into the plant, reducing energy costs. Finally, the remaining wastes are treated by an aerobic stage. The output is water that is clean, reusable and safe for environment. Three years after start up, RWL Water continues to provide an efficient and sustainable solution for energy production while helping to reduce Italcanditi’s wastewater treatment costs. RWL Water’s tailored and customized solution provided optimized results for the customer. The system is not only beneficial for the environment, but it also provides revenue for Italcanditi.

System Description

Industrial wastewater effluents from fruit, candies, and jam undergo pre-treatment EFC anaerobic digestion and lamellar settler, biogas desulfurization, biological oxidation and final separation.



  • The result is a flow rate of 1.200m3/day or 50m3/hr.
  • COD is measured at 12.000mg/L.
  • Biogas production is 4.800m3/day and electricity generation is 590KW; 14MWh/day.
  • Italcanditi saves about €300.000,00 each year with RWL Water’s anaerobic digester; approximately, 35-40% more compared than with the previous treatment plant.