Since the early 1980s, anaerobic treatment of industrial effluents has found widespread application in the pulp and paper industry. Over 200 installations are treating a large variety of different pulp and paper mill effluents. Amongst various anaerobic systems the UASB and IC are the most applied anaerobic reactor systems. Anaerobic treatment is well feasible for effluents originated from recycle paper mills, mechanical pulping (peroxide bleached), semi-chemical pulping and sulphite and kraft evaporator condensates. The advantages of anaerobic pre-treatment are (1) net production of renewable energy (biogas), (2) minimized bio-solids production, (3) minimal footprint and (4) reduced emission of greenhouse gases. Via in-line application of anaerobic treatment in closed circuits (paper kidney technology) further savings on cost of fresh water intake and effluent discharge levies are generated.

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