Application of Ozone and Granular Activated Carbon for Distillery Effluent Treatment

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Student of Environmental Pollution, Tarbiat Modarres University, Tehran

2 Assist. Prof. of Environmental Engineering, Tarbiat Modarres University, Tehran

3 Assist. Prof. of Chemistry, Dept. of Engineering, Razi University, Kermanshah


The main objective of this study was to investigate the treatment of distillery vinasse through the integrated process of ozone oxidation and Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) in a continuous process. The continuous process was carried out both by each of the GAC and ozone processes alone and by the combination of the two in order to investigate the synergistic effects of the two modes on COD and color removal in the treatment of vinasse from laboratory ethanol production from cane molasses. The continuous processes were performed at an ozone generation rate of 240mg/h, GAC dose of 100g, and at room temperature (25°C). Color removal efficiency of O3 was higher than its COD removal from vinasse. The COD and color removal efficiencies of the O3 process were about 25% and 74%, respectively. Moreover, GAC/O3 process was found to negatively affect the synergy of COD and color removal efficiency from distillery vinasse. This negative effect decreased by increasing influent pH level. The results indicate that the initial pH has a considerable effect on the three processes investigated.


1- Wilkie, A.C., Riedesel, K.J., and Owens, J.M. (2000). “Stillage characterization and anaerobic treatment of ethanol stillage from conventional and cellulosic feedstocks.” Biomass and Bioenergy, 19 (2), 63-102.
2- Navarro, A.R., Sepulveda, M., Del C., and Rubio, M. C. (2000). “Bio-concenteration of vinasse from the alcoholic fermentation of sugar cane molasses.” Waste Management, 20 (7), 581-585.
3- Satyawali, Y., and Blakrishnan, M. (2008). “Wastewater treatment in molasses-based alcohol distilleries for COD and color removal.” J. of Environmental Management, 86 (3), 481-497.
4- Kalavathi, D.F., Uma, L., and Subramanian, G. (2001). “Degradation and metabolization of the pigment- melanoidin in a distillery effluent by the marine cyanobacterium Oscillatoria boryana BDU 92181.” Enzyme and Microbial Technology, 29 (4-5), 246-251.
5- Martins, S.I.F.S., and Van Boekel, M.A.J.S. (2004). “A kinetic model for the glucose/glycine Maillard reaction pathways.” Food Chemistry, 90 (1-2), 257-269.
6- Godshall, M.A. (1999). “Removal of colorants and polysaccharides and the quality of white sugar.” Proceedings of Sixth International Symposium Organized by Association Andrew van Hook (AvH), Reims, France, 28-35.
7- Jain, N., Minocha, A.K., and Verma, C.L. (2002). “Degradation of predigested distillery effluent by isolated bacterial strains.” Indian J. of Experimental Biology, 40 (1), 101-105.
8- Bernardo, E.C., Egashira, R., and Kawasaki, J. (1997). “Decolorization of molasses wastewater using activated carbon prepared from cane bagasse.” Carbon, 35 (9), 1217-1221.
9- Chandra, R., and Pandey, P.K. (2000). “Decolorization of anaerobically treated distillery effluent by activated charcoal adsorption method.” Indian J. of Environmental Protection, 21 (2), 134-137.
10- Sekar, D., and Murthy, D.V.S. (1998). “Color removal of distillery spentwash by adsorption technique.” Indian Chemical Engineer. Section A., 40 (4), 176-181.
11- Sreethawong, T., and Chavadej, S. (2008). “Color removal of distillery wastewater by ozonation in the absence and presence of immobilized iron oxide catalyst.” J. Hazard. Mater, 155 (3), 486-493.
12- Alvarez, A P.M., Garcıa-Araya, J.F., Beltran, F.J., GiraldezI., Jaramillo, J., and Gomez-Serrano, V. (2006). “The influence of various factors on aqueous ozone decomposition by granular activated carbons and the development of a mechanistic approach.” Carbon, 44 (2), 3102-3112.
13- Mandal, A., Ojha, K., and Ghosh, D.N. (2003). “Removal of color from distillery wastewater by different processes.” Indian Chemical Engineer Section B, 45 (4), 264-267.
14- Oguz, E., and Keskinler, B. (2007). “Comparison among O3, PAC adsorption, O3/HCO3- , O3/H2O2 and O3/PAC processes for the removal of Bomaplex Red CR-L dye from aqueous solution.” Dyes and Pigments, 74 (2), 329-334.
15- Oguz, E., and Keskinler, B. (2008). “Removal of colour and COD from synthetic textile wastewaters using O3, PAC, H2O2 and HCO3.” J. of Hazardous Materials, 151 (2-3), 753-760.
16- Lei, L., Gu, L., Zhang, X., and Su, Y. (2007). “Catalytic oxidation of highly concentrated real industrial wastewater by integrated ozone and activated carbon.” Applied Catalysis A: General, 327 (2), 287-294.
17- APHA., AWWA. (1998). Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater, 20th Ed. American Public Health Association (APHA), American Water Works Association, Water Environment Federation, Washington, DC.
18- Yetilmezsoy, K., and Sakar, S. (2008). “Improvement of COD and color removal from UASB treated poultry manure wastewater using Fenton’s oxidation.” J. of Hazardous Materials, 151 (2-3), 547-558
20- Caqueret, V., Bostyn, S., Cagnon, B., and Fauduet, H. (2008).  “Purification of sugar beet vinasse –adsorption of polyphenolic and dark colored compounds on different commercial activated carbons.” Bioresource Technology, 99 (13), 5814-5821.19- Nyangiro, D. (2003). “New application of ozone in the treatment of chemical pulps.” Ph.D. Thesis, EFPG/INPG,France.
21- Gilbert, E. (1988). “Biodegradability of ozonation products as a function of COD and DOC elimination by example of substituted aromatic substances.” Water Res., 22 (1), 123-126.
22- Contreras, S., Rodriguez, M., Momani, F.A., Sans, S., and Esplugas, S. (2003). “Contribution of the ozonation pre-treatment to the biodegradation of aqueous solution of 2,4-dichlorophenol.” Water Res.,
37 (13), 3164-3174.
23- Sangave, P.C., Gogate, P.R., and Pandit, A.B. (2007). “Combination of ozonation with conventional aerobic oxidation for distillery wastewater treatment.” Chemosphere, 68 (1), 32-41.
24- Beltran, F.J., Garcia-Araya, J.F., and Alvarez, P.M. (2001). “pH sequential ozonation of domestic and wine-distillery wastewaters.” Water Res., 35(4), 929-936.
25- Glaze, W.L., and Kang, J.W. (1987). “The chemistry of water treatment processes involving ozone, hydrogen peroxide and ultraviolet radiation.” Ozone Sci. Eng., 9 (4), 335-352.
26- Alvarez, P.M., Garcia-Araya, J.F., Beltran, F.J., Masa, F.J., and Medina, F. (2005). “Ozonation of activated carbons: Effect on the adsorption of selected phenolic compounds from aqueous solutions.” J. of Colloid and Interface Science, 283 (2), 503-512.
27- Beltran, F.J., Rivas, J., Alvarez, P., and Montero-de-Espinosa, R. (2002). “Kinetics of heterogeneous catalytic ozone decomposition in water on an activated carbon.” Ozone Sci. Eng, 24(4), 227-237.
28- Sanchez-Polo, A., and Rivera-Utrilla, J. (2003). “Effect of the ozone–carbon reaction on the catalytic activity of activated carbon during the degradation of1,3,6-naphthalenetrisulphonic acid with ozone.” Carbon, 41(2), 303-307.
29- Staehelin, J., and Hoigne, J. (1985). “Decomposition of ozone in water in the presence of organic solutes acting as promoters and inhibitors of radical chain reactions.” Environ. Sci. Technol., 19 (12), 1206-1213.
30- Jans, U., and Hoigne, J. (1998). “Activated carbon and carbon black catalyzed transformation of aqueous ozone into OH-radicals.” Ozone Sci. Eng., 20(1), 67-90.
31- Sanchez-Polo, M., Leyva-Ramos, R., and Rivera-Utrilla, J. (2005). “Kinetics of 1,3,6-halenetrisulphonic acid ozonation in the presence of activated carbon.” Carbon, 43(5), 962-990.