Distillery Waste

Distillery stillages have a complex organic and inorganic composition. The most important characteristics, in terms of their organic strength and nutrient content are given in Table 1.

As can be seen, the values of BOD and COD may vary significantly and may reach extremely high values of over 300 and more than 150 g/l, respectively. The pH ranges from 3 to 5. The waste can contain different amounts of solids up to more than 400 g/l. For cultivating microorganisms, the content of carbon and nitrogen sources is the most important factor. The ratio of C:N varies with the raw material used for alcoholic fermentation. In addition to the components given in Table 1, there are different amounts of organic and amino acids, polyols, vitamins, phenolics, etc. Minerals include potassium, phosphorus, sulfates, and some heavy metals. These components may also have an important influence on

Table 1 Characteristics and composition of distillery stillages

BOD

COD

Solids

Nitrogen

Protein

Reducing sugars

Total sugars

Origin

(g/L)

(g/L)

PH

(g/L)

(g/L)

(g/L)

(g/L)

(g/L)

Molasses

16-103

32-158

4.2-5.2

31-119

0.2-6.0

3.7-8

2-18

6-30

Grain

10-340

15

3.2-7.5

20-75

0.2-1.9

5-23

11-30

2.9a-5

Malt

24-43

35-58

2.9-3.8

15-31

6-21a

Cassava

19

23

5.0

24

0.4

2.5

6.8

Rice

25-84

51

3.5-4.3

94

19.3-20

1.1-13

2.6-9

Barley

3.9

31

20

14

Sweet potato

20

4.3

2.0

4.4

2.4

11

SWL

40-50

100

1

8

Wine

12-18

26

3.6-4.5

23-125

0.4-1.0

0.8-1.1

Fruit

38-156

3.3-4.5

30-440

0.4-1.0

SWL, sulfite waste liquor. a Carbohydrate.

SWL, sulfite waste liquor. a Carbohydrate.

the pollution load of the wastewater as well as on the suitability for bioconversion.

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