Thermophilic anaerobic digestion of alcohol distillery wastewaters
Results are presented from a full-scale plant using thermophilic (50-55°C) anaerobic digestion of wastewaters from an alcohol distillery. The distillery processes mainly beet molasses, but also molasses from figs, raisins and wines. A new version of the process is described, where the digester has a feedback of bacteria and undigested solids, in order to overcome high sulfate and nitrogen concentrations and the high organic load of the effluent. The best results for a waste feed with 60 g/liter COD were found to be the following: volumetric load up to 6 kg/m J day, biogas production about 2.5 m3/m3 reactor day (76% CH4 content), methane production 0.4 m3/kg COD removed, efficiency in converting organic solids to CH4 70%, and mean C02 content of biogas 18%.
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