Anaerobic Digestion Technology For Treatment Of Distillery Waste Environmental Sciences Essay

In recent old ages at that place has been a turning involvement in anaerobiotic intervention of effluents. Compared to aerobic growing, anaerobiotic agitation produces much less biomass from the same sum of COD remotion. Alcohol distillery is extremely H2O intensive units bring forthing big volumes of high strength effluent that poses serious environmental jobs. Anaerobic digestion is the most suited option for intervention of high strength organic wastewater. The presence of biodegradable constituents in the wastewaters coupled with the advantages. Considerable advancement has been achieved in the development of high rate anaerobiotic reactors with several constellations for handling concentrated industrial wastewater. Considerable sum of surveies have carried out utilizing Hybrid up-flow anaerobic sludge cover ( HUASB ) reactors. Treatment of exhausted wash generated from the distilleries is perceived as one of the serious pollution job of the states bring forthing intoxicant from the agitation and subsequent distillment of sugar cane molasses. Distillery wastewater is a contaminated watercourse with COD values of up to 80000-1, 30,000 mg/l and low pH Valuess of between 3 to 4. The HUASBR is widely used an effectual measure in taking the COD with a great efficiency.

This paper reviews the suitableness and the position of development of anaerobiotic reactors for the digestion of selected organic wastewaters and critically analyzes the procedure parametric quantity for reactors and chief advantages of utilizing HUASBR for intervention of distillery effluent.

Keywords: HUASB reactor, anaerobiotic digestion, Distillery spent wash, Wastewater intervention parametric quantities.


One of the most of import environmental jobs faced by the universe is direction of waste. Industrial processes create a assortment of effluent pollutants ; which are hard and dearly-won to handle. Wastewater features and degrees of pollutants vary significantly from industry to industry. Now-a-days accent is laid on waste minimisation and gross coevals through by-product recovery.

Rapid industrialisation has resulted in the coevals of a big measure of wastewater with high organic content, which if treated appropriately, can ensue in a ageless beginning of energy [ 2 ] . In recent old ages, anaerobiotic effluent intervention has become a engineering of turning importance, particularly for extremely polluted effluent from the sugar & A ; distillery industries [ 5 ] . Distillery spent wash refers to the wastewater generated from intoxicant distilleries. On an mean 8-15 litres of wastewater is generated for every litre of intoxicant produced [ 1, 4 ] . India has about 319 distilleries ; bring forthing 3.25 billion litres of intoxicant and bring forthing 40.4 billion litres of effluent yearly [ 1 ] . The fabrication procedure involves agitation of diluted sugar cane molasses with barm. The agitation last about 80 hours and ensuing merchandise contains 6-8 % intoxicant. The barm cells are separated by settling and cell free stock is steam distilled and rectified to obtain 94-95 % intoxicant [ 4 ] . The residue of fermented mash which comes out as liquid waste is termed as exhausted wash [ 1 ] .

The effluent generated from distillment of fermented mash is in the temperature scope 70-800c, deep brown in colour, acidic in nature ( low pH ) , and has high concentration of organic stuffs and solids. It is a really complex, caramelized and cumbrous agro industrial waste. However the pollution burden of the distillery wastewater depends on the measure of molasses, unit operations for processing of molasses and process recovery of intoxicants [ 1 ] .

TABLE ( 1 )

Typical features of distillery spent wash [ 4 ] .

Sr. No.







Sum Suspended Solids ( mg/lit. )



Entire Dissolved Solids ( mg/lit. )



Entire volatile solids ( mg/lit. )



B.O.D.,200C, 5 yearss ( mg/lit. )



C.O.D. ( mg/lit. )




Dark- brown


Chlorides ( mg/lit. )


Distillery spent wash has really high BOD, COD and high BOD/COD ratio. The sum of organic substances such as N, K, phosphates, Ca, sulphates is besides really high.. High COD entire N and entire phosphate content of the influent may ensue in eutrofication of the natural H2O organic structure. Disposal of the distillery spent wash on land is every bit risky to the flora it is reported to cut down dirt alkanity and manages handiness, therefore populating seed sprouting. Application of distillery spent wash to dirty without proper monitoring, earnestly affects the land H2O quality by changing its physiochemical belongingss such as colour, pH, electric conduction due to leaching down of organic and inorganic ions.

In malice of the fact of that there is the negative environmental impact associated with industrialisation, the consequence can be minimized and energy can be tapped by agencies of anaerobiotic digestion of the waste H2O [ 2 ] . Biological intervention of the distillery spent wash is 8 aerophilic and anaerobiotic but in most instances the combination of both is used. A typical COD/BOD ratio of 1.8to1.9 indicates the suitableness of influent of biological intervention [ 1 ] .

In recent twelvemonth considerable attending has been paid toward the development of reactor for anaerobiotic intervention of waste taking to transition of organic molecule into biogas. This reactor known as 2nd coevals reactor or hello rate digester can manage waste at a high organic lading rate of 24kg. COD / M3 twenty-four hours and high up flow speed of 2 mm/h at a low hydraulic keepings clip [ 2 ] .

Anaerobic digestion is the most suited option for the intervention of high strength organic wastewaters. The presence of biodegradable constituents in the wastewaters coupled with the advantages of anaerobiotic procedure over other intervention methods makes it an attractive option.

1.1 Development of Anaerobic Reactors:

1. Septic Tank

2. Imhoff Tank

3. Single phase anaerobiotic reactors

4. Anaerobic Filter

5. Anaerobic Fluidized Bed Reactor

6. Upflow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket ( UASBR ) .


All modern high rate biomethanation procedures are based on the construct of retaining high feasible biomass by some manner of bacterial sludge immobilisation. These are achieved by one of the undermentioned methods.

* Formation of extremely settleable sludge sums combined with gas separation and sludge subsiding, e.g. upflow anaerobiotic sludge cover reactor and anaerobic baffled reactor.

* Bacterial fond regard to high denseness particulate bearer stuffs e.g. fluidized bed reactors and anaerobic expanded bed reactors.

* Entrapment of sludge sums between packing stuff supplied to the reactor, e.g. down flow anaerobiotic filter and up flow anaerobiotic filter.

2.1. Fixed movie reactor:

In stationary fixed movie reactors ( Fig. 1 ) , the reactor has a bio-film support construction ( media ) such as activated C, PVC ( polyvinyl chloride ) supports, difficult stone atoms or ceramic rings for biomass immobilisation. The effluent is distributed from above/below the media. Fixed movie reactors offer the advantages of simpleness of building, riddance of mechanical commixture, better stableness at higher burden rates, and capableness to defy big toxic daze tonss and organic daze tonss. The reactors can retrieve really rapidly after a period of famishment. The chief restriction of this design is that the reactor volume is comparatively high compared to other high rate procedures due to the volume occupied by the media. Another restraint is choke offing of the reactor due to increase in bio-film thickness and/or high suspended solids concentration in the effluent [ 2 ] .

Feed storage

armored combat vehicle


TABLE ( 2 )

Features of reactor types [ 4 ] .

Anaerobic Reactor Type

Start up period

Imparting Consequence

Effluent Recycle

Gas solid separation Device

Carrier Packing

Typical Loading rates ( kg COD/m3day )

HRT ( vitamin D )


— –

Not Present

Not required

Not required

Not indispensable






Not required


Not indispensable



Anaerobic Filter



Not required









Not required












2.2. Up flow anaerobic sludge cover reactor:

UASB engineering is being used extensively for wastewaters from different beginnings such as distilleries, nutrient treating units, tanneries and municipal effluent. The active biomass in the signifier of sludge granules is retained in the reactor by direct subsiding for accomplishing high MCRT thereby accomplishing extremely cost-efficient designs. A major advantage is that the engineering has relatively less investing demands when compared to an anaerobiotic filter or a fluidized bed system.

Among noteworthy disadvantages, it has a long start-up period along with the demand for a sufficient sum of farinaceous seed sludge for faster startup. Furthermore, important wash-out of sludge during the initial stage of the procedure is likely and the reactor needs skilled operation.

A UASB reactor ( fig. 2 ) basically consists of gas-solids centrifuge ( to retain the anaerobic sludge within the reactor ) , an inflowing distribution system and outflowing draw off installations. Effluent recycle ( to fluidize the sludge bed ) is non necessary as sufficient contact between effluent and sludge is guaranteed even at low organic tonss with the influent distribution system. Besides, significantly higher lading rates can be accommodated in farinaceous sludge UASB reactors as compared to flocculent sludge bed reactors. In the latter, the presence of ill degraded or no biodegradable suspended affair in the effluent consequences in an irreversible crisp bead in the specific methanogenic activity because the spread solids are trapped in the sludge. Furthermore, any important granulation does non happen under these conditions. The maximal loading potency of such a woolly sludge bed system is in the scope of 1-4 kilograms COD/m3 twenty-four hours. Yet another high rate digester, EGSB, is a modified signifier of UASB in which a 5-10 m/h as compared to 3 m/ H for soluble effluent and 1-1.25 m/h for partly soluble somewhat higher superficial liquid speed is applied effluent in an UASB ) . Because of the higher up flow speeds, chiefly farinaceous sludge will be retained in an EGSB system, whereas a important portion of farinaceous sludge bed will be in an expanded or perchance even in a fluidized province in the higher parts of the bed. As a consequence, the contact between the effluent and sludge is first-class. Furthermore, the conveyance of substrate into the sludge aggregates is much better as compared to state of affairss where the commixture strength is much lower. The maximal accomplishable lading rate in EGSB is somewhat higher than that of an UASB system, particularly for a low strength V & A ; A containing effluent and at lower ambient temperatures.

Fig.2 UASB Reactor.

2.3. Anaerobic fluidized bed reactor:

In the anaerobiotic fluidized bed ( Fig. 3 ) , the media for bacterial fond regard and growing is kept in the fluidized province by retarding force forces exerted by the up streamlined effluent. The media used are little atom size sand, activated C, etc. Under fluidized province, each media provides a big surface country for biofilm formation and growing. It enables the attainment of high reactor biomass hold-up and promotes system efficiency and stableness. This provides an chance for higher organic burden rates and greater opposition to inhibitors. Fluidized bed engineering is more effectual than anaerobiotic filter engineering as it favors the conveyance of microbic cells from the majority to the surface and therefore enhances the contact between the micro-organisms and the substrate.

Fig. 3 Anaerobic fluidized bed reactor

These reactors have several advantages over anaerobiotic filters such as riddance of bed clogging, a low hydraulic caput loss combined with better hydraulic circulation and a greater surface country per unit of reactor volume. Finally, the capital cost is lower due to cut down reactor volumes. However, the recycling of wastewater may be necessary to accomplish bed enlargement as in the instance of expanded bed reactor. In the expanded bed design, micro-organisms are attached to an inert support medium such as sand, crushed rock or plastics as in fluidized bed reactor. However, the diameter of the atoms is somewhat bigger as compared to that used in fluidized beds. The rule used for the enlargement is besides similar to that for the fluidized bed, i.e. by a high up flow speed and recycling.

2.4 The Anaerobic filter Processes ( AF ) :

Biofiltration uses bacterial immobilisation by agencies of sludge of movies on an inert support stuff & A ; the entrapment of sludge flocs within the macro-porous construction of the bearer stuff to retain as much of the active sludge as possible.

Particularly designed bearer stuffs are available, normally made of polythene or polypropene. They are extremely voided to cut down the hazard of choke offing & A ; have specific surface between 100 & A ; 200 m2per m3carrier stuffs.

Anaerobic filter are used whenever non-granular or non settable sludge is expected & amp ; when available country is limited. The high biomass concentration inside the reactor allows volumetric lading rates of 5to10kg COD/m3per twenty-four hours. A disadvantage of the Anaerobic Filter is the comparative high cost of the bearer stuff.

2.5 The Hybrid Reactor: –

Hybrid Type of reactor is a combination of an Up flow Anaerobic Sludge Blanket reactor with an anaerobiotic filter or an anaerobiotic contact procedure or a combination of the three types.

The first intercrossed Type of reactor is similar to an UASB, except for the three-phase centrifuge. The centrifuge is replacing by a later of drifting bearer stuff. This material serves a dual map

( 1 ) To divide & amp ; retain a big maps of sludge in the reactor before the influent use the reactor, and

( 2 ) To carries active sludge in the porous infinite of the bearer stuff itself. This type of reactor is called the up flow anaerobic contact filter reactor ( UACF )

The 2nd type of intercrossed reactor has late been developed for waste H2O demoing no granule formation & A ; necessitating a longer hydraulic keeping clip. It is called by up flow Anaerobic contact reactor ( UAC ) .This reactor allows some bio mass accretion in the lower portion of the reactor the reactor is non wholly mix which is instance for the anaerobiotic contact ( AC ) reactor but is equipped with a sophisticated influent distribution system similar to the 1 for the ( UASB ) reactor [ 5 ] .


The anaerobiotic digestion procedure is affected significantly by the operating conditions. As the procedure involves the formation of volatile acids, it is of import that the rate of reaction be such that there is no accretion of acids, which would ensue in the failure of the digester. This, in bend, is governed by the burden rate and the inflowing strength. Temperature and pH are other of import variables as the methane bring forthing bacteriums are sensitive to these as good.

3.1. Consequence of temperature

Anaerobic digestion is strongly influenced by temperature and can be grouped under one of the undermentioned classs: psychrophilic ( 0-20A°C ) , mesophilic ( 20- 42A°C ) and thermophilic ( 42-75A°C ) . The inside informations of the bacterial procedures in all the three temperature scopes are good established though a big subdivision of the reported work trades with mesophilic operation. Changes in temperature are good resisted by anaerobiotic bacteriums, every bit long as they do non transcend the upper bound as defined by the temperature at which the decay rate begins to transcend the growing rate. In the mesophilic scope, the bacterial activity and growing lessenings by one half for each 10A°C bead below 35A°C.Thus, for a given grade of digestion to be attained, the lower the temperature, the thirster is the digestion clip. The consequence of temperature on the first phase of the digestion procedure ( hydrolysis and acidogenesis ) is non really important. The 2nd and 3rd phases of decomposition can merely be performed by certain specialised micro-organism ( acidognic and methanogenic bacteriums ) and therefore, these are much more sensitive towards temperature alteration [ 3 ] . However, an of import feature of anaerobiotic bacteriums is that their decay rate is really low at temperatures below 15A°C. Therefore, it is possible to continue the anaerobiotic sludge for long periods without losing much of its activity. This is particularly utile in the anaerobiotic intervention of effluent from seasonal industries such as sugar Millss.

3.2. Consequence of pH

Anaerobic reactions are extremely pH dependant. The optimum pH scope for methane bring forthing bacteriums is 6.8-7.2 while for acid-forming bacteriums, a more acerb pH is desirable. The pH of an anaerobiotic system is typically maintained between methanogenic bounds to forestall the predomination of the acid-forming bacteriums, which may do V & A ; A accretion. It is indispensable that the reactor contents provide plenty buffer capacity to neutralize any eventual V & A ; A accretion, and therefore prevent build-up of localised acid zones in the digester. In general, sodium-bicarbonate is used for supplementing the alkalinity since it is the lone chemical, which gently shifts the equilibrium to the desired value without upseting the physical and chemical balance of the delicate microbic population.

3.3. Consequence of foods

The presence of ions in the provender is a critical parametric quantity since it affects the granulation procedure and stableness of reactors like USAB. The bacterium in the anaerobiotic digestion procedure requires micronutrients and hint elements such as N, phosphoric, sulfur, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Ni, Co, Zn, manganese and Cu for optimal growing. Although these elements are needed in highly low concentrations, the deficiency of these foods has an inauspicious consequence upon the microbic growing and public presentation. Methane organizing bacteriums have comparatively high internal concentrations of Fe, Ni and Co. These elements may non be present in sufficient concentrations in effluent watercourses from the processing of one individual agro industrial merchandise like maize or murphies or the effluent derived from condensates. In such instances, the effluent has to be supplemented with the hint elements anterior to intervention. The needed optimum

Degree centigrades: Nitrogen: P ratio for enhanced output of methane has been reported to be 100:2.5:0.5. The minimal concentration of macro and micronutrients can be calculated based on the biodegradable COD concentration of the effluent, cell output and alimentary concentration in bacterial cells. The food

Concentration in the influent should be adjusted to a value equal to twice the minimum alimentary concentration required in order to guarantee that there is a little surplus in the foods needed.

3.4. Consequence of organic burden rate

In anaerobiotic effluent intervention, lading rate dramas an of import function. In the instance of nonattached biomass reactors, where the hydraulic keeping clip is long, overloading consequences in biomass washout. This, in bend, leads to treat failure. Fixed movie, expanded and fluidized bed reactors can defy higher organic burden rate. Even if there is a daze burden ensuing in failure, the system is quickly restored to normal. In comparing to a CSTR system, fixed movie and other affiliated biomass reactors have better stableness. Furthermore, high grade of COD decrease is achieved even at high lading rates at a short hydraulic keeping clip. Anaerobic fluidized bed appears to defy maximal lading rate compared to other high rate reactors.


A engineering is acceptable to an industry if it requires less capital, less land country and is more dependable when compared to the other good established options for an anaerobiotic digestion system ; this translates into the procedure being able to run at high organic and hydraulic burden rates with minimal operation and care demands. To take the most appropriate reactor type for a peculiar application, it is indispensable to carry on a systematic rating of different reactor constellations with the effluent watercourse. The organic and hydraulic lading potency of a reactor depends on three factors

Viz: *iˆ Amount of active biomass that can be retained by a reactor per unit volume.

* Contact chance between the maintained biomass and the entrance effluent.

* Diffusion of substrate within the biomass.

With these considerations, farinaceous sludge UASB reactor stands out distinctively as the best pick with the lone restrictions being the inclination of granules to drift and shearing of granules at high lading rates. These restraints are besides valid to a lesser grade for affiliated biomass reactors ( such as fixed movie, fluidized bed and rotary biological contactors ) . In add-on, due to the infinite occupied by the media, the affiliated biomass reactors possess relatively lower capacity for biomass keeping per unit volume of the reactor. The latter depends on the movie thickness, which would be the highest in a fluidized bed reactor due to big surface country available for biomass fond regard. Besides, there is better contact between the biomass and the entrance effluent in both fluidized bed and EGSB systems. However, due to the high upflow speed, the substrate diffusion in the biomass is limited in these constellations.

Based on these factors, it appears that the maximal accomplishable lading rates with soluble effluent would diminish in the undermentioned sequence:

UASB & gt ; EGSB & gt ; fluidized bed reactor & gt ; anaerobiotic filter. The capital cost of the reactors and the land country demands, hence, follows the same order. The digester operation and care demands are minimal if the procedure is reasonably stable towards fluctuations in effluent features and alterations in environmental conditions. Susceptibility of the procedure depends on the possible use of the reactor and therefore a system runing near maximal loading conditions is more sensitive. Based on the comparings of assorted reactor types, the undermentioned order can be recommended for reactor pick:

Parameters Rating

Operating accomplishments: Fixed movie & lt ; UASB & lt ; RBC & lt ;

Fluidized bed.

Energy ingestion: UASB & lt ; fixed movie & lt ; EGSB & lt ; fluidized bed & lt ; RBC

Capital cost, land demand: RBC & lt ; fixed movie & lt ; UASB & lt ; EGSB & lt ; fluidized bed


The loanblend up flow anaerobic sludge cover ( HUASB ) reactor has received widespread credence and has been successfully used to handle a assortment of industrial every bit good as domestic effluents. In the HUASB procedure, the whole waste is passed through the anaerobiotic reactor in an up flow manners, with a hydraulic keeping clip ( HRT ) of merely about 8-10 hours at mean flow. No anterior deposit is required.COD removal efficiencies depends mostly on effluent type ; nevertheless the remotion efficiency with regard to biodegradable COD is by and large in surplus of 85 or even 90 % .

The biodegradable COD is sometimes reflected in the parametric quantity biological O demand ( BOD ) . The four top applications of high rate anaerobiotic reactor systems are for:

Breweries & A ; drink industry.

Distilleries and agitation industries.

Food industries.

Pulp & A ; paper industries.

Furthermore in warm clime the HUASB construct is besides suited for the domestic effluent.

Advantages of Anaerobic Reactors:

Low energy cost

Less bio-mass coevals

Less solid waste to dispose

Stable digested sludge is produced

Less infinite required

Off-gas air pollution eliminated

Restrictions of HUASBR:

*Post Aerobic Treatment is required ( one twenty-four hours smoothing pool for sewerage ) .

*To meet coli signifier degree in the treated wastewater ripening pool or chemical intervention is required.


A brief sum-up of consequences of research lab and pilot graduated table surveies extracted from expensive literature study are presented. The HUASBR engineering is good suited for the pre-treatment of high strength distillery wastewaters. It must be noted that this is merely when the procedure has been successfully started up and it is in stable operation. It order to accomplish a consecutive start up it is recommended that the reactor be started up at a low lading rate between 4-8 Kg.COD/ and the COD remotion efficiency must be monitored carefully. Attention must besides be paid to the temperature and high burden rate should non be applied until the temperature in the reactor has reached the recommended 34 to 360c.This particularly of import in outflowing steams that have low flow rate with correspondingly high COD concentration such as distillery waste. Once the works has been successfully started up, fluctuations in volumetric burden rate do non significantly affect the public presentation of the reactor.


The literature reviewed in this paper is the portion of ongoing thesis work name “ Study on public presentation of Tapered conelike shaped intercrossed Upflow anaerobic sludge cover Reactor ( HUASBR ) for intervention of distillery spent wash ” at SGB University, Amravati under the counsel of Dr. N. W. Ingole. The writer thanks the Principal, J. T. M. C. O. E. Faizpur, Dist- Jalgaon for widening all installations for carry oning the research work.