IWA Publishing

Microfiltration of vinasse: sustainable strategy to improve its nutritive potential


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The purpose of this article was to evaluate and establish microfiltration (MF) operating conditions for vinasse (ethanol industries wastewater also known as stillage, slop, distillery effluent or dunder) concentration aiming to improve the use of its nutritive potential. The operating conditions influence permeate flux that has been evaluated by monitoring the flow rate profile during the operation on bench scale in different conditions (feed pH, aeration condition and recovery rate). From the results found, the process scale up was then effected. The bench scale findings showed that the vinasse microfiltration under air flow of 0.5 m3.h−1 between membrane fibers, with no pH adjustment, and recovery rate of 93% produced two flows, one of permeate that may be used to wash the sugarcane during the ethanol production processing, and the other of concentrate that contains a high organic compounds and nutrients concentration. This concentrate has additional potentiality of being used as organic compound supplement in contaminated soil bioremediation, and as a supplier of microbial biomass or substrate for biosurfactant production.

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