Case Studies


Glasgow Viridor


When considering pumps for an industrial application, often the decision to purchase is based on the suitability of the pump for the application, and the initial purchase price. These are certainly important factors; however, the story below shows that other factors can have an even more important impact on your costs and the running of your operation.

In the rapidly growing Anaerobic Digestion industry, positive displacement pumps are often used to transport the organic waste through the processes on the plant. These pumps include screw pumps, rotary lobe pumps and peristaltic pumps.

These pumps offer high efficiencies and good solids handling abilities, and are ideal for the low flow-rates found in AD plants.

Glasgow Recycling Centre

The Viridor Recycling & Renewable Energy Centre in Glasgow is a flag-ship AD plant. This £154m site had four rotatory lobe pumps handling the food waste produced by this large conurbation. The suitability of the pumps to the application and reasonable purchase price made them attractive to the site operators.

However, one aspect of these pumps became a major disadvantage. The digestate is very gritty and therefore an abrasive material to transport. This meant the internal lobes and casing eroded rapidly, which led to a rapid reduction in efficiency. This meant the lobes had to be replaced regularly, and as these are very expensive, this became a major headache for the site operators.

The reduction in efficiency meant that the promised energy saving did not materialise.

Additionally, the pumps, which are essential to the running of the plant, were out of action during the replacement process. This led to significant downtime for the plant, and all the costs and lost production this brings.

As you can see, the attractiveness of apparent high efficiency and reasonable purchase price had now been eclipsed by unreasonable operating costs and downtime.


SlurryPumps at Glasgow Viridor

Atlantic Pumps to the Rescue

The site contacted Atlantic Pumps, specialists in pumps for abrasive applications and we recommended SlurryPro centrifugal slurry pumps. These have a higher initial purchase price and cannot offer such high efficiencies as the lobe pumps. However, by specifying pumps with high-chrome wear parts, an open 2-vane impeller and a double mechanical seal, Atlantic were able to produce a solution where the pumps can happily handle the abrasive fluids for long periods of time with very little erosion to the working parts of the pump.

The site replaced the lobe pumps with four 6x4 SlurryPro pumps. After many months of constant operation, the pumps continued to happily provide the required adequate pressure and flow. More importantly, the internal wear parts were still in good condition. This meant that there had been a dramatic reduction in both downtime and in the cost of spares. In fact, the investment in the new pumps had already paid for itself.

Having reliable pumps working constantly has improved the running of the whole plant; for example, the pipes no longer seized up like they used to when the pumps needed switching off regularly.

See below how improved running costs can outweigh the higher purchase price and the apparently lower efficiencies of a centrifugal slurry pump:


   Positive   Displacement   Pump  Centrifugal
 Initial purchase price  £20,000  £30,000
 Energy costs (per year) - rated  £25,000  £50,000
 Energy costs (per year) - actual  £50,000  £50,000
 Spare parts (per year)  £50,000  £5,000
 Cost of downtime (£1,000/day)  £20,000  £2,000
 Total pumping costs first year  £140,000  £87,000
 Total pumping costs subsequent years  £120,000  £57,000


Our case study doesn’t end there however...

The sheer quality and durability of our pumps and parts is demonstrated by the fact that Viridor Glasgow only contacted us to replace the pumps’ mechanical seals and bearing cartridges for the first time in December 2019 – over two years since the installation of the pumps with the wet end spares still untouched.

Talking about Viridor Glasgow, Sales Team Leader Nathan Rowles said “This project has been an amazing success. So much so that the site have now called us back to replace another nine pumps in similar applications.”

In January 2023, the wet end spares remained untouched, saving the site circa £63k a year of operational expenses.

A SlurryPro pump at Glasgow Viridor


Contact Us

To discuss pumping solutions for your recycling centre call 0800 118 2500 or email Atlantic Pumps at