Latterie & Caseificio Moro S.r.l is a dairy and cheese factory in northeast Italy, established in 1978 for the production of award-winning Italian cheeses. In the mid-nineties, the factory was renovated in order to increase production. Today, the company produces milk and a wide variety of local cheeses, especially ricotta cheese, with widespread distribution throughout central and northern Italy. In addition to the production of high-quality cheese, the factory has also developed a successful biogas solution.

The ‘scotta-whey’, a by-product of cheesemaking, was initially used as pig feed; however, the declining pork market and decreasing number of piggeries required a disposal solution for excessive amounts of scotta-whey. Even with a wastewater treatment plant, Moro dairy farm lacked a cost-effective disposal method, an issue due to the high costs and strict environmental regulations involved.

Water treatment solution provider RWL Water (today Fluence Italy SRL) faced the challenge of providing a solution that did not interfere with operation of the existing anaerobic plant at the factory. RWL Water refurbished the wastewater treatment plant in order to treat both the dairy wastewater and scotta-whey after anaerobic fermentation, without interrupting the plant’s operation.

Because biogas plants use biodegradable wastes as feedstock for anaerobic digestion, the company has become more cost-efficient, while meeting national and European waste recycling regulations. Moreover, anaerobic digestion produces not only biogas, but also digestate, which consists of leftover indigestible material and dead microorganisms, which are excellent sources of organic fertiliser and are a substitute for additional mineral fertilisers, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Biogas versatility allows for a great range of new applications, such as high-tech process energy, effective small-scale power generation, flexible energy production, and more.