Evaluation of a hybrid anaerobic biofilm reactor treating winery effluents and using grape stalks as biofilm carrier

Mohamed Ali Wahab, Frédéric Habouzit, Nicolas Bernet, Naceur Jedidi, Renaud Escudié
Environmental Technology 2016, 37 (13): 1676-82
Wine production processes generate large amount of both winery wastewater and solid wastes. Furthermore, working periods, volumes and pollution loads greatly vary over the year. Therefore, it is recommended to develop a low-cost treatment technology for the treatment of winery effluents taking into account the variation of the organic loading rate (OLR). Accordingly, we have investigated the sequential operation of an anaerobic biofilm reactor treating winery effluents and using grape stalks (GSs) as biofilm carrier with an OLR ranging from 0.65 to 27 gCOD/L/d. The result showed that, during the start-up with wastewater influent, the chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal rate ranged from 83% to 93% and was about 91% at the end of the start-up period that lasted for 40 days. After 3 months of inactivity period of the reactor (no influent feeding), we have succeeded in restarting-up the reactor in only 15 days with a COD removal of 82% and a low concentration of volatile fatty acids (1 g/L), which confirms the robustness of the reactor. As a consequence, GSs can be used as an efficient carrier support, allowing a fast reactor start-up, while the biofilm conserves its activity during a non-feeding period. The proposed hybrid reactor thus permits to treat both winery effluents and GSs.


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