DISTILLERY WASTEWATER TREATMENT AND DISPOSAL

Lt Col Mantha Nagaraj*, Dr Arvind Kumar** *PhD Scholar, Environmental Engineering Civil Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee – 247 667. District Haridwar, Uttaranchal, India. (e-mail: manthanagaraj@yahoo.com) **Professor & Head of Civil Engineering Department Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee – 247 667. District Haridwar, Uttaranchal, India. (e-mail: prof_ak04@yahoo.com) ABSTRACT
1. One of the most important environmental problems faced by the world is management of wastes. Industrial processes create a variety of wastewater pollutants; which are difficult and costly to treat. Wastewater characteristics and levels of pollutants vary significantly from industry to industry. Now-a-days emphasis is laid on waste minimization and revenue generation through byproduct recovery. Pollution prevention focuses on preventing the generation of wastes, while waste minimization refers to reducing the volume or toxicity of hazardous wastes by water recycling and reuse, and process modifications and the byproduct recovery as a fall out of manufacturing process creates ample scope for revenue generation thereby offsetting the costs substantially. 2. Production of ethyl alcohol in distilleries based on cane sugar molasses constitutes a major industry in Asia and South America. The world’s total production of alcohol from cane molasses is more than13 million m3/annum. The aqueous distillery effluent stream known as spent wash is a dark brown highly organic effluent and is approximately 12-15 times by volume of the product alcohol. It is one of the most complex, troublesome and strongest organic industrial effluents, having extremely high COD and BOD values. Because of the high concentration of organic load, distillery spent wash is a potential source of renewable energy. The paper reviews the status and appropriate treatment alternatives for disposal of the distillery wastewater.

KEYWORDS
Distillery Spentwash, Revenue Generation, Byproduct Recovery.

INTRODUCTION
1. Production of ethyl alcohol in distilleries based on cane sugar molasses constitutes a major industry in Asia and South America. The world’s total production of alcohol from cane molasses is more than13 million m3/annum. The aqueous distillery effluent stream known as spent wash is a dark brown highly organic effluent and is approximately 12-15 times by volume of the product alcohol. It is one of the most complex, troublesome and strongest organic industrial effluents, having extremely high COD and BOD values. Because of the high concentration of organic load, distillery spent wash is a potential source of renewable energy. 2. The 295 distilleries in India produce 2.7 billion litres of alcohol and generating 40 billion litres of wastewater annually. The enormous distillery wastewater has potential to produce 1100 million cubic meters of biogas. The population equivalent of distillery wastewater based on BOD has been reported to be as high as 6.2 billion which means that contribution of distillery waste in India to organic pollution is

the alcohol is.000-75. matured and blended with malt alcohol (for manufacture of whisky) and diluted to requisite strength to obtain the desired type of liquor/ Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL)..O. 3.D. dark brown in colour and it also contains sugar which could not be crystallized. S. Molasses is a thick viscous byproduct of the sugar industry which is acidic in nature. 1. This alcohol is used for various purposes including potable and industrial.00. 4.O. Parameter pH Total Suspended Solids Total Dissolved Solids B. In India bulk of the alcohol is being produced from sugar cane molasses.000 40. The fermented wash is distilled in a series of distillation columns to obtain alcohol of adequate/ requisite strength and quality/specification. 5.000 80.000-50. 5 days C. rich in salts.000-14. This massive quantity. major portion of which is spentwash. MOLASSES WATER DILUTER YEAST PROPAGATION FERMENTER FERMENTER SLUDGE ANALYSER RECTIFIER ALCOHOL SPENT WASH SPIRIT RECEIVER EFFLUENT TREATMENT ALCOHOL MANUFACTURING PROCESS AND NATURE OF DISTILLERY WASTEWATER 3. 2.No. if disposed untreated can cause considerable stress on the water courses leading to widespread damage to aquatic life.000-1. is nearly 15 times the total alcohol production. if required.approximately seven times more than the entire Indian population.3 12. Range 4. 20 0C. This solution is then inoculated with yeast strain and is allowed to ferment at room temperature. For manufacturing alcohol.D. For manufacture of alcoholic beverages. the Molasses is diluted with water into a solution containing 15-16 % of sugars. This is bottled in bottles of various sizes for the convenience of consumers.000 45.3-5. The wastewater from distilleries. approximately 40 billion litres of effluent.000 .

5 0.6 1096. Annual Bio energy Potential of Distillery Effluent in Various States of India State AP Assam Bihar Goa Gujarat Karnataka MP Maharashtra Punjab Tamilnadu UP WB Rajasthan Kerala Pondicherry Sikkim Nagaland J&K HP Haryana Total Units 24 1 13 6 10 28 21 65 8 19 43 6 7 8 3 1 1 7 2 5 285 Capacity (M Ltr/Yr) 123 2 88 15 128 187 469 625 88 212 617 24 14 23 11 7 2 24 3 41 2703 Effluent (M Ltr/Yr) 1852 24 1323 218 1919 2799 7036 9367 1317 3178 9252 371 202 343 165 98 24 366 39 615 40. The advances manifesting the possibilities of energy conservation are also discernible in the case of distilleries. Thus the manorial potential of effluent can be measured by the fact that one year’s effluent can meet the potassium requirement of 1.7 35. there is a need for development of a suitable process with lower investments and higher energy recovery.5 5.6 86 250 10. (b) Anaerobic digestion with biogas recovery followed by aerobic polishing and (c) Direct wet oxidation of stillage by air at high temperature with generation of steam followed by aerobic polishing.55 million hectare land.025 million hectare land if two crops are taken in a year. whereas the other two processes along with the secondary treatment require an investment of 200-300% of the distillery cost.1 Total N (tones) 566 7 397 65 576 840 2111 2810 395 953 2776 111 61 103 50 29 7 110 12 185 12. However. Because anaerobic digestion and wet oxidation are less expensive. All of these processes are capital intensive.7 6 51. spent wash cake and spent washpress mud compost. The post methanation wastewater if used carefully for irrigation of agricultural crops can produce more than 85000 tonne of biomass annually.1 3 9. 12500 tones of nitrogen and 2100 tones of phosphorus annually. If this source of energy is tapped. The incineration process involves an investment of the order of 400% of the distillery cost.6 190 253 35. it will fetch additional energy units worth 5 trillion-kilo calories annually. (a) Concentration followed by incineration. This biogas normally contains 60% methane gas. Spent wash treatment is proposed by three different routes currently viz. Many distilleries in India are allowing their effluent for application on land as direct irrigation water. the Post Methanation Effluent (PME) can provide 245000 tones of potassium.7 11 1 16.070 Biomass (tones) 3704 48 2646 436 3838 5598 14072 18734 2634 6356 18504 742 404 686 330 196 48 732 78 1230 81016 PRESENT STATUS OF TREATMENT AND DISPOSAL 5. The methane gas generated in the digesters is used as a fuel to compensate the .8 75.3 4.508 Biogas (M m3) 50 0. In India there are 295 distilleries producing 3.154 Total Ka (tones) 11115 144 7940 1304 11511 16794 42219 56217 7902 1971 55512 22223 1215 2064 990 585 144 2196 234 3690 263.20 billion litres of alcohol generating 45 billion litres of wastewater annually.13 million hectare land and phosphorus requirement of 0.BIO-ENERGY POTENTIAL FROM DISTILLERY EFFLUENTS 4. which is a well-recognized fuel gas with minimum air pollution potential. The unfavourable economics make it difficult to implement these treatment processes on the plant scale. The enormous distillery wastewater has potential to produce 1200 million cubic meters of biogas. these alternatives are more attractive. nitrogen requirement of 0. Besides.

25.50 lakhs can be saved annually for a distillery having 300 working days in a year. Switzerland. Pravaranagar. o EFFLUENT CHARACTERISTICS Flow m3/day pH BOD mg/l COD mg/l Before Treatment After Treatment 450 450 4. 312 lakhs to Rs. the wastewaters can be subjected to treatment for the production of biogas.000 to 1000. The wastewaters generated during the distillery and brewery operations contain high organic loads.0 to 7.8 45. 652 lakhs per year. The separated sludge in this process makes excellent manure. Ahmednagar District.000 .000 mg/1.000 to 60. Through suitable coupling the engine can be coupled with the A/C generator for generation of electricity from biogas.000 to 8. It uses UFB reactors.000 6. COST RECOVERY METHODS FROM THE DISTILLERY EFFLUENTS 6.K. This is a stable and automatic process with low operational costs. anaerobic biomethanation of the effluent is adopted. BIOBED PROCESS: It is similar to Bio thane process.870 m3 per day.000 kg COD/day 75-80% of COD can be reduced and nearly Rs. For the production of biogas from distillery effluent.000 25.. For a 45 klpd distillery 11 KV of power is generated which is then utilized in the distillery thus cutting down the power consumption. For a plant having 40-45.000 to 50. Fluidised Bed Reactors and Up flow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket (UASB) Reactors are mostly utilized for the production of biogas from the effluents. • SULZER' S PROCESS: The technology of this type of biogas plant is provided by Sulzer Brothers Limited. A biogas plant at the distillery of Padmashri Dr.000 to 35.000 lpd which generates 900 m3 of spent wash per day. The biogas production is in the range of 16. • BIOPAQ PROCESS: In this process anaerobic bacteria are used to treat the distillery effluents for the production of biogas.550 to 21. The generated biogas is used to produce steam for the distillation of alcohol and thus it replaces 50-60% of the total required energy in the process of distillation. A general estimate suggests that the cost of an anaerobic biological digester is recovered within 2-3 years of installation because of substantial saving of coal and other fuels. The generated biogas from UASB reactor of BioPaq process can be collected and be used as a fuel in gas/dual engine. Maharashtra is based on Sulzer's technology. Vitthalrao Vikhe Patil S.5 7. It is specifically made for Indian conditions. generally.0 to 4. (a) BIOGAS. o ECONOMICS OF THE BIOGAS PLANT OF SULZER’S DESIGN These calculations are made for a distillery producing 30.000 litres of alcohol per day. The effluent characteristics are for conventional batch type fermentation process. High rate anaerobic technologies are utilized for biogas generation. Some of the biogas production processes being commercial1y established in India at present are:- • • BIOTHANE PROCESS: This process uses the UASB reactor for the production of biogas.000 80. Ltd. It has a BOD from 30.energy needs of the industry. The capacity of this distillery is 6. The savings in the cost of fuel is in the range of Rs. UASB process is utilized here. It needs less installation area and its construction cost is lower compared to any other system. So due to this high organic contents. aquaculture and potash recovery.S. composting.

5 60 to 65 % 6000 Kcal/ Nm3 4000 Kcal/Kg 18.000 Rs 1.000 MT/ annum Rs 1.63 lacs = 230 / 63.750 Rs 2. Both anaerobic and aerobic composting systems are practiced. • ECONOMICS OF BIOEARTH COMPOSTING Capacity of the Distillery Number of working days in a year In the Distillery In the Composting Plant Generated spentwash Solid content in spentwash Spentwash to Press mud Ratio Man Power Required Culture Requirement Press mud requirement Cost of Culture Cost of Press mud Man Power cost Capital Cost Land Requirement Bio Earth Production Annual Maintenance Costs % Costs of Funds 50 KLPD 300 275 350 KLPD (Biostil Plant) 17 % 2.76.000 Rs 99.o PERFORMANCE Reduction of BOD % Reduction of COD % Biogas Production Nm3/day Specific Biogas Production Nm3/kg of COD degraded % of methane in biogas o ECONOMICS 80 to 85 % 65 to 70 % 12.000 Rs 5. press mud generated from sugar mill is utilised to produce compost by mixing distillery effluent.5 KL : 1 MT 50 31.210 pd Rs 99.5 MT/annum 43. Calorific value of biogas Calorific Value of Coal Coal equivalent of Biogas per day Cost of Coal at Rs 1800 per tonne Annual fuel savings Capital cost of plant Interest at 15 % on 75 % of the capital cost** Maintenance costs Staff Salary Power 40 KW at Rs 2/.63 = 3 to 4 years. In some plants composting with treated effluent treated through bio-methanation plant is also practiced.32 lakhs . This system can achieve zero effluent if the press mud quantity matches with the effluent generated.50.4 to 0.73.per unit Total Annual Cost Net Savings per year Total Pay back period (b) COMPOSTING In this process.000 MT per year 1.00.300 0.36 – 36 = Rs 63.75 lakhs per MT Rs 12 per MT Rs 50 per day Rs 175 lakhs (excluding land) 25 acres 38.13 lakhs 17.00.45 tonnes Rs 33.000 Rs 36.5 % of equipment costs 20 % per annum • OPERATION COSTS Cost of Culture Average Cost of Funds Cost of Diesel 55.5 lakhs 11.63 lacs Rs 230 lacs Rs 26.

the raw distillery spent wash is first neutralized with lime and filtered.00 3876000. (c) POTASH RECOVERY It is done by incinerating the distillery spent wash.00) Rs 350.00 -7524000.16 lakhs 0.25 lakhs 113. The resulting ash is found to contain about 37% of potash as potassium oxide on an average.00 0.00 3.00 Rs 17500000.Cost of Press mud Cost of Transportation of Press mud Annual Man Power Cost Depreciation (@ 10 %) Maintenance Annual Operational Cost of Compost Plant Cost of One Metric Tonne of Bioearth 5.00/10926000. This is further concentrated to about 60% solids in multiple-effect forcer circulation evaporators.00 7676000.34 Years (17500000.00 400. which is sufficient for supporting self-combustion of the thick liquor in the incinerator.00) Rs 500.00 Rs 10926000. 3.88 lakhs 15.00 350.00 6.00 1976000.00 Rs 17500000.00 Net annual cost/benefit of Compost • Net Cost / Benefit in Rs -11324000. This ash . In this process.00 10. Now this thick liquor from the evaporator is burnt in an incinerator and is converted into ash.00 Rs 17500000.24 lakhs =Annual Operational cost of plant Compost Produced in MT = = 11324000 38000 Rs 298.00 Rs 1738000.6 Years (17500000.00 1.06 Years (17500000/1738000. The dry solids of the spent wash in the form of coke in the incinerator has an average calorific value of 2 Kcal/kg.00) 2.00 298.00 lakhs 2.00/5226000.00 = Sales value of 38000 MT of compost less annual operating costs COMPUTATION OF PAY BACK PERIOD 1.00 200. SP of Bioearth Initial cash outflow Net annual cash inflow Pay Back Period SP of Bioearth Initial cash outflow Net annual cash inflow Pay Back Period SP of Bioearth Initial cash outflow Net annual cash inflow Pay Back Period - Rs 250.00 500.00 per MT • NET COST/BENEFIT FOR DIFFERENT SELLING PRICES OF COMPOST SP of Bioearth in Rs 0 100.00 Rs 5226000.00 -3724000.

increases availability of certain nutrients and capability to retain water and also improves the physical structure of soil. It is estimated that a distillery discharging about 300 m3 of spent wash per day could recover 3 tonnes of Potassium as Potassium oxide or about 5. .6 to 21.01 to 1.W. phosphorous and potash valued at about Rs 500 crores each year. the effluent is diluted 2-3 times before application on crops. would be required to energising these systems if 246 distilleries endeavour to reduce the BOD level of effluent to the extent possible. the utilisation of distillery effluents in agricultural fields creates organic fertilization in the soil which raises the pH of the soil. when the surface is almost dried. 300 grams of nitrogen and 20 grams of phosphorus.0 percent phosphorus as PO and 0.34 tonnes of Potassium sulphate and 1.2 tonnes of Potassium chloride per day. Mostly the distillery wastewaters are used for pre-sowing irrigation. The generation of the desired energy would need an installed load of 350 M. 28 kg of nitrogen and 2 kg of phosphates. As the secondary and tertiary systems for the treatment of distillery effluent are highly energy intensive and according to the estimates of the Union Ministry of Energy a total connected load of 200 M. The post-harvest fields are filled with distillery effluents. The crystallized mixed potassium salt contains 73. However. One cubic metre of methanated effluent contains nearly 5 kg of potassium.W. Then it is neutralized with sulphuric acid and is evaporated. RECOMMENDATIONS 7. (d) DISTILLERY WASTEWATER UTILISATION IN AGRICULTURE Being very rich in organic matters. If one centimetre of post methanation effluent is applied on one hectare of agricultural land annually. 360 kg of calcium.5 percent potash as K O . The added advantage of this application would be that these fertilisers would be a va i l ab l e to s o i l in organic form.1 to 1. However. the fields are tilled and the crops are sown and subsequent irrigation is given with fresh water. The distillery effluent contains 0. So it will be an attractive practice to utilise the distillery effluents for ferti-irrigation of land after primary treatment.is further leached with water to dissolve the potassium salts.5% of potassium sulphate (K2SO4) 16. Apparently. Reviewing the magnitude of pollution potential of distillery wastewaters and the experiences gained over years on recovery of residues and treatment of wastewater the following recommendations are made :• In-plant control measures for conservation and reuse of water and good house-keeping for prevention of spillage and leakages should be the prerequisite. it will yield nearly 600 kg of potassium. 100 kg of sulphates.5% potassium chloride (KCl) and 5% of sodium salts. The potassium salts are crystallized in a crystal1izer. Farmers could save nitrogenous fertilisers worth Rs 1335 crores per annum if at least 200 distilleries of out country recycled their wastes to the agricultural fields. The irrigational and manorial potential of distillery wastewaters is given below: i) ii) • Total Volume available in Million m3 /annum Nutrients Contribution Potential (tonnes/annum) : :N PO KO 6.87 69380 11335 27480 ECONOMICAL ASPECTS When the distillery effluents are used for i r ri ga t i on in fallow lands. 0. the microbes present in it transform the lands into fertile ones.5 percent Nitrogen as N2. which would require capital investment of the order of about Rs 1400 crores. the irrigation with distillery wastewater seems to be an attractive agricultural practice which not only augments crop yield but also provides a plausible solution for the land disposal of the effluents. it is predicted that the utilisation of distillery effluent for irrigation of land would make a v a i l able nitrogen. After 15-20 days. giving high yields of paddy and sugarcane. This potassium is used as a fertilizer. as land is available in abundance around the distilleries which are located in the sugarcane belts.

evaporation and incineration of distillery spent wash to recover potash would appear to be the only choice.• For recovery from the treatment of distillery spentwash. phosphorous and potash but also compensate the expenditure on fertilizers for crop growth. while waste minimization refers to reducing the volume or toxicity of hazardous wastes by water recycling and reuse. Therefore the effect on crop productivity has to . as the same generates revenue thus offsetting the costs and further leading to reduction in pay back period. Moreover it is feasible alternative for utilization of treated effluent. CONCLUSION 8. high salt load. heat recovery would defray significantly the organisation and maintenance costs and contribute towards conservation of energy. removal and/or recovery of yeast should be prerequisite to reduce the load and eliminate certain undue problems in the waste treatment/recovery plants. • The utilisation of the distillery effluent in agricultural fields will not only enrich these further with essential plant nutrients like nitrogen. especially in an oxidation ditch to reduce costs. • For the treatment of distillery spent wash. activated sludge type of aeration treatment in a deep oxidation ditch would be more economical than the conventional or extended aeration sludge process. subsequently. Where the availability and cost of land are the main constraints. The treated effluent having almost all the potash retained in it may be utilised for irrigation purposes. • Anaerobic digestion of spent wash in a closed digester followed by its treatment under an activated sludge process. In spite of high capital investment required for such type of plants. Now-a-days emphasis is laid on waste minimization and revenue generation through byproduct recovery. might be adopted as the most costeffective system for the distilleries which are located away from sugar factories. where adequate land is available. This recovered yeast can be utilised as a good cattle feed. depending on the availability and cost of land in a particular area. • In the countries like ours. Moreover. The cost of effluent treatment in distilleries is likely to be compensated substantially by availability of methane gas. recovery of potash from crude ash by evaporation and incineration of spent wash would appear to be an economically attractive alternative. Effluent application will reduce the nutrient requirement through fertilisers. simple treatment in anaerobic lagoon to generate biogas followed by treatment in aerated lagoon or oxidation ditch may be considered. • Where the availability of land is a severe constraint. into the soil system may hamper the sustained crop yields due to continued long-term application of effluents. Pollution prevention focuses on preventing the generation of wastes. where indigenous sources of potash are scarce or not available. If heat recovery is simultaneously used. the treated effluent can be conveniently used for irrigation of cane fields or other crop lands. However. mainly potassium and sulphur. • Similarly spentwash utilization in bioearth composting. the pay back period of the plant can be substantially reduced. One of the most important environmental problems faced by the world is management of wastes. • Biogas generated from the distillery effluents. 9. can be effectively utilized in production plant boilers thus saving about 50 to 60 percent fuel/steam. and process modifications and the byproduct recovery as a fall out of manufacturing process creates ample scope for revenue generation thereby offsetting the costs substantially. This practice will result in revenue generation and further lead to offsetting the costs substantially. Recovery of spent grains and yeast and their utilisation as animal feed and feed supplement might be encouraged not only for reducing the pollution load form the wastewaters but also in providing for a reasonable return on their capital investment of the industry. being a simple process and not involving any heavy machinery is also one of the cost effective methods of disposal.

in turn avoiding CO of about 3100 tonnes per day.R. T.10. Chemical Industry Digest.P. Vol. R. "Pilot Plant for Treatment of Distillery Wastes at Golagokarnath"t Report of All India Inst. R. R. Institute of Engineers (India).S.V. Venkiteswaran. " Management of Sugar and Alcohol Industry Wastes . No. 4. 1964.N.1991. Pt CH3. New Delhi. (1987) Effluents from Distilleries. Water Pollution Control Board. "Power Generation From Distillery Spent Wash".be visualised on long-term and sustainable basis. Calcutta. and Pub. P. Tech Monitor. Raju. V. Sen.I. then approximately 2. If all the distilleries present in India resort to biomethanation. I. Chakrabarty. 1994. Jalgaonkar. April 1980. "Composting of Distillery Effluent Using Bagasse Cillo". B.D. S. this will help to control the pollution created by the distillery wastewaters and also enable to derive by-products which are commercially beneficial. Chakrabarty. XLVI.K. REFERENCES CPCB Parivesh News Letters. thus identifying the gaps in the technologies and suggesting an action plan for overcoming these. 65. Chemical Weekly Annual Number. 1964. . T.C. New Delhi. "The Guide for Treatment of Distillery Effluents". Hyg. January-February.K. All India Distillers' Association. 5.S. T. and Venkatesh. S. U.Pollution Control and Conservation of Energy and Fertilizer".. Meshram. Health. 1994. Symp.. Chemical Industry Digest. 49. Application of post methanation effluent suitably diluted according to crop requirements and soil conditions seems to be viable alternative. B."Distillery Effluent Treatment With Energy Recovery". Disposal of Sugar and Distillery Wastes. Vol.. with a calorific value of approximately 5000 Kcal/m. It has also been elucidated during the study that several technological options that are available in our country need to be exploited to the maximum so that. Indian Standards 3032-1976. Tuesday.L. Some relative issues in the areas of quality criteria with respect to gaps in technologies and financial implication in implementing the technological options. Special Report Series No.0 million cubic metres of biogas shall be generated per day.. October 15. Chakrabarty. and Bhaskaran.R. "Utilisation of Liquid Wastes from Molasses Distillery for Recovery of Potassium Salts".. K. The present study coupled with the corresponding techno market survey has been aimed at reviewing the existing technological status of treatment and disposal of distillery spentwash in our country and comparing with that of the contemporary international technologies... No. Directory of Indian Distilleries. Viswanathan. A. 10. L. 4th Quarter '93 (December). has been highlighted in this study.. and Bhaskaran. Various recommendations are given for the establishment of recovery plants in India.N. "Analysis of Performance of IREDA Sponsored Bio-Methanation Projects and Their Impact Assessment". Indian Council of Medical Research. Trivedi..R. Jor.P. 4th Quarter '93 (December). Rao. R. So this is a matter great importance for the Indian distilleries and breweries. Chakrabarty. This is equivalent to saving of 2240 tonnes of coal per day.N. R.N.... Basu.K. and Bhaskaran. IREDA News. It has to be stressed that recovery from the distillery effluents is a better way to reduce the cost of wastewater treatment for decreasing its pollution level which is actually a very costly affair. "Sugarcane Microbes can make Fallows Fertile" Financial Express. Lucknow .S. " Recovery of Potassium Salts form Spent Wash of Molasses Distillery". Proc.