Fonterra Whey Digestion

Fonterra commissioned BPO to carry out a pilot plant to test the feasibility of anaerobic digestion for the treatment of cream cheese whey. The Anaerobic Contact process was selected as the optimal technology due to its process robustness and ability to handle waste with inherently high concentration of solids and fats. 

The trial was successful and confirmed that the anaerobic contact process is capable of treating cream cheese way at the organic loading rate of 5.2 kg COD/m3/d. The system consistently achieved very high removal efficiency with an average removal of 95% total COD and 99% soluble COD.  The system generated on average 0.32 m3 of methane per kg of COD treated.

Whey Trial paper

89 Colombo Street

PO Box 5067, Frankton, Hamilton, New Zealand

570 Hillside Road,

Dunedin, New Zealand



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