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Researchers Study GHGs in Winery Wastewater Treatment with DX4015 Gas Analyzer


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A research conducted in Southern European wineries compared the conventional and natural wastewater treatment technologies via life cycle assessment and carbon footprint studies. The research group utilized Gasmet’s portable FTIR gas analyzer DX4015 for monitoring the GHGs. The present study can be seen as an important link in helping the wine sector contribute to the fight against the climate change. In this article PhD student and researcher Laura Flores tells about the research and how it was to work with our FTIR gas analyzer. Join us in hearing more!

Better Sustainability for Wineries via Wastewater Treatment
Thanks to the research of Laura Flores, PhD student in Environmental Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Spain, a number of wineries in Spain, Portugal and South of France can soon have a chance to enhance their circular economy and sustainability via environmentally friendlier wastewater treatment technologies.

Her current research has demonstrated that natural technologies for winery wastewater treatment are better for the environment than conventional technologies. Flores uses the Gasmet DX4015 portable FTIR gas analyzer for measuring the GHGs, and we with our trusted distributor Anatrac based in Spain, are proud to be part of her study.

According to Flores, the study has contributed greatly in the wine industry and in the treatment wetlands field. The research group’s findings will help the decision-making process when choosing between wastewater and conventional sludge treatment solutions for wineries. Flores’s research is therefore an important link between the legislative decision-making and the battle against the climate change.
Comparing the Environmental Impacts of Winery Wastewater Treatment Technologies

Flores’s research focuses on the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Carbon Footprint (CFP) studies and numerical modelling for treatment wetlands and conventional technologies (i.e. activated sludge systems).

“This research was done under a European SUDOE research project. The WETWINE project promotes the conservation and protection of the natural heritage of the wine sector in the Sudoe area, offering the wineries a new point of view to circular economy and better awareness about their waste management”, Flores explains.

The GEMMA research group has long-term experience in wastewater and waste treatment technologies such as treatment wetlands, high rate algae ponds, anaerobic digestion, and also in resource recovery such as biogas and bioplastics.
GHG Research Strongly Linked to The Climate Change Battle
The present research has demonstrated that natural technologies for winery wastewater treatment are more environmentally friendly than conventional technologies. For example, while conventional technologies (i.e. activated sludge systems) have a high energy demand for aeration and require chemical use, neither are needed in treatment wetlands. Treatment wetlands also promote the reuse of the treated water for irrigation and sludge as a fertilizer or soil conditioner, closing the cycle in wineries and applying circular economy to the wine industry. Flores’s research is therefore an important link in helping the European wineries take their sustainability efforts to the next level.

Measuring GHGs with Gasmet DX4015
For the development of the Carbon Footprint study comparing treatment wetlands and activated sludge systems for winery wastewater treatment, real greenhouse gas emissions from the treatment plants were needed. For this reason, the research group chose Gasmet’s DX4015, a portable FTIR analyzer for the measurements.

“It was really simple to use Gasmet DX4015 with the Calcmet software installed on a laptop. I used it on the field to measure from real wastewater treatment plants”, Flores states.

As the main benefits she lists the following features:

  • DX4015 is simple to use
  • It is easy to interpret the results with Calcmet software
  • Portability allows direct on-site monitoring and analysis
  • Increased accuracy of the results thanks to on-site analysis

Measuring greenhouse gas emissions from treatment wetlands with Gasmet DX4015 or any other on-site FTIR gas analyzer had never been done before. It was the first time Flores’s and her fellow researchers used the device, and the measuring procedure resulted to be very successful:

“With the FTIR methodology many mistakes in the results due to sample transportation to the laboratory and sample manipulation can be avoided. Also, the gas monitoring results can be obtained instantaneously and directly on-site”, she adds.
Results Guide Wine Sector Decision-making
Results have showed the greenhouse gas emissions’ tendency in treatment wetlands and activated sludge systems for winery wastewater treatment. The research group also saw daily and seasonal variation in these emissions, and spontaneous changes due to an organic load of wastewater into the treatment plant.

An article about the present study is expected to be published by the beginning of 2020. Other related publications can be found on the WETWINE project website.

According to Flores, the study has had a great impact on the wine sector and on the treatment wetlands field. These experiments aim to guide the decision-making process when choosing a wastewater and sludge treatment solution for wineries. The next steps in the present research include overcoming legal barriers in wastewater treatment and reuse, and distributing the study to increase awareness on the circular economy in the wine sector.

Want to find out if Gasmet’s portable gas analyzers are suited for your research? Get in touch today or visit our virtual greenhouse gas booth:

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