IWA Publishing

Winery and distillery wastewater treatment by anaerobic digestion

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Anaerobic digestion is widely used for wastewater treatment, especially in the food industries. Generally after the anaerobic treatment there is an aerobic post-treatment in order to return the treated water to nature. Several technologies are applied for winery wastewater treatment. They are using free cells or flocs (anaerobic contact digesters, anaerobic sequencing batch reactors and anaerobic lagoons), anaerobic granules (Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket – UASB), or biofilms on fixed support (anaerobic filter) or on mobile support as with the fluidised bed. Some technologies include two strategies, e.g. a sludge bed with anaerobic filter as in the hybrid digester.With winery wastewaters (as for vinasses from distilleries) the removal yield for anaerobic digestion is very high, up to 90–95% COD removal. The organic loads are between 5 and 15 kgCOD/m3 of digester/day. The biogas production is between 400 and 600 L per kg COD removed with 60 to 70% methane content. For anaerobic and aerobic post-treatment of vinasses in the Cognac region, REVICO company has 99.7% COD removal and the cost is 0.52 Euro/m3 of vinasses.

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