Evaluation of the treatability of a winery distillery (vinasse) wastewater by UASB, anoxic-aerobic UF-MBR and chemical precipitation/adsorption

Luigi Petta, Sabino De Gisi, Patrizia Casella, Roberto Farina, Michele Notarnicola
Journal of Environmental Management 2017 October 1, 201: 177-189
A multi-stage pilot-scale treatment cycle consisting of an Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket reactor (UASB) followed by an anoxic-aerobic Ultra Filtration Membrane Bio Reactor (UF-MBR) and a post treatment based on chemical precipitation with lime or adsorption on Granular Activated Carbons (GAC), was applied in order to evaluate the treatment feasibility of a real winery distillery wastewater at laboratory and bench scale. The wastewater was classified as high strength with acidic pH (3.8), and concentrations of 44,600, 254, 604 and 660 mg/l for CODtot , total nitrogen, total phosphorous and phenols, respectively. The UASB reactor was operated at Organic Loading Rates (OLR) in the range 3.0-11.5 kgCODtot /m3 /d achieving treatment efficiency up to 97%, with an observed methane production of 340 L of CH4 /kgCOD. The MBR system was operated with an organic load in the range 0.070-0.185 kgCOD/kgVSS/d, achieving a removal up to 48%, 67% and 65% of the influent COD, total nitrogen and phenols, respectively. The combination of UASB and UF-MBR treatment units was not effective in phosphate and colour removal assigning to further chemical precipitation and adsorption processes, respectively, their complete removal in order to comply with legal standards for wastewater discharge. Subsequently, the optimization of the investigated treatment chain was assessed by applying a chemical precipitation step upstream and downstream the UASB reactor, and a related treatment unit cost assessment is presented in view of a further technological scale-up.

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