Winery wastewaters are variable in nature and are hard to treat by means of the conventional activated sludge process because of the high organic loading associated with their production, especially during vintage. To face this situation, recently, membrane bioreactors have been widely applied to treat winery wastewaters. In this study, a full-scale membrane bioreactor treated some 110 m3/d of wastewater and organic loadings up to 1,600 kg COD per day. The average removal efficiency was 95% while the corresponding sludge yield was only 0.1 kg MLVSS per kg COD removed, as usual for these wastewaters. A detailed analysis of energy consumption showed specific energy demands of 2.0–3.6 kWh/m3 of treated wastewater or 1 kWh per kg of COD removed.
Keywords: energy requirements, membrane bioreactor (MBR), winery wastewater