The most established sector for making alcoholic beverages is the brewery sector. Water is used extensively during the brewing and filling stages of the beer production process. The brewers use different production methods, yet these businesses nonetheless emit a lot of wastewater.
Breweries are regarded as a significant economic sector in the nation. However, when combined with the effluents like sugar, soluble starch, ethanol, and volatile fatty acids, the by-products produced, such as mashing and yeast surplus, cause water pollution.
Let's now delve deeper to comprehend the risks that are there in the effluent from breweries.
The created wastewater has extremely high levels of organic matter and nutrients, thus it must be treated because the effluents do not meet legal requirements. Due to the necessity for high oxygen levels, to balance off the high amounts of BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand) needed to aerate and clear the water, this treatment can be time-consuming and expensive.
Since, the effluents contain organic chemicals that need oxygen to degrade, the disposal of untreated or only partially treated effluent into water bodies, can result in serious pollution issues. Excessive nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus in the wastewater produced, could also generate an algae bloom, and damage the ecosystem of the water body.
How is brewery wastewater disposed of?
Following are a few of the ways effluent from the beer plants is discharged:
· Directly into the body of water nearby lakes, oceans, rivers.
· After undergoing pretreatment or partial treatment, directly into the municipal STP.
· Into the brewery's wastewater treatment facility.
Understanding Brewery Wastewater Effluents' Characteristics
Brewing effluent composition might change because it depends on a number of different operations, including fermentation, packaging, processing raw materials, etc. Although, breweries use materials like barley, the process to cleanse the water and make it safe for release, is complicated.
The ingredients used in the brewing process could appear to be safe. However, the wastewater released has high BOD/COD levels, since it mostly consists of sugar, soluble starch, ethanol, fatty acids, and other organic substances that degrade over time.
The following are the main characteristics of the brewery wastewater effluent:
· Low pH values
· High alcohol and sugar content
· TSS levels that are very high
· High COD/BOD concentrations
When choosing a wastewater treatment facility for the brewing business, various environmental and socioeconomic factors might be taken into account, to get rid of these effluents. One might choose a method that can handle the significant variation in organic load, and wastewater properties while keeping running costs as low as possible.
What are the various wastewater treatment methods in the breweries?
Before releasing the effluent, large breweries treat it first. However, some breweries use physical, chemical, or biological treatment techniques, to handle their own effluent.
· Physical Technique/treatment
The physical approach is the first treatment method in which pollutants are removed using physical force. This technique is excellent for eliminating coarse solid matter, because brewery effluent contains grains, like barley.
The process of letting suspended pollutants settle out or float to the top is passive, similar to sedimentation. Most frequently, this technique fails to completely remove or separate contaminants.
To remove contaminants from the wastewater, chemicals are added. Coagulation, flocculation, and pH changes are all parts of chemical pretreatment. Smaller particles combine to create larger aggregates during this process, which can then be physically removed.
The environment and wastewater treatment systems can be impacted by the acidity or alkalinity. To safeguard healthy organisms using this method, the pH must be kept between 6 and 9.
· Biological Technique/treatment
The wastewater's biodegradable organic contaminants are changed by the biological treatment process. Both microbiological and chemical pollutants can be found in brewery wastewater. One of the most recommended methods to remove these toxins is the biological process.
The main benefits of undergoing biological treatment procedures are:
· The effluents are treated by bacteria.
· Efficiency in reducing BOD/COD levels is about 80% to 90%.
· It is economical.
Both aerobic and anaerobic mechanisms can be involved in this. However, most firms consider the anaerobic technique effective for handling brewery effluents. The majority of industries in India use an aeration system, after an up-flow anaerobic sludge reactor. In a UASB reactor, wastewater travels upward through a thick, dense bed of anaerobic sludge.
When the biological treatment procedure is finished, the water is safe to release into the water body after disinfection, because the standards for water quality have been met.
Now, the question arises! Can it be reused, nevertheless, given the increase in water scarcity?
By choosing biological treatment, the created treated wastewater can be recycled for use in leisure activities, agriculture, and other industrial processes. However, some treatment plants experience concerns such as not eliminating foaming and scum problems, foul odour, not maintaining BOD/COD levels, excess sludge formation, etc.
Unhygienic circumstances bring over three million deaths every year. Inadequate sanitation is a major contributor to the development of illnesses, in impoverished nations. With the help of Netsol Water wastewater treatment technologies, wastewater management may be done sustainably, without harming the environment.
Using our WWTPs and ETPs has a number of important advantages, including:
· BOD/COD levels is reduced
· Odour and colour of treated wastewater is reduced
· These reduce sludge levels and increase the capacity to produce biogas
Since, industrialization and urbanisation have accelerated water contamination and made it a restricted resource for water supply, now we know wastewater treatment and reuse can be an alternate source. However, we think the beer business will see an extraordinary rise in the demand for water reuse. Therefore, if we apply eco-friendly methods, the requirement for techniques that may achieve an efficient treatment, may increase.
Want to know more about treatment of the brewery effluent!
Get in touch with our professionals for a reasonable natural solution, as Netsol Water is one of the top businesses offering effective wastewater management,and sludge management solutions. Our advanced treatment products aid in the treatment of wastewater, reducing organics, inorganics, FOGs, TDS levels, heavy metals and other microscopic organisms, with the elimination of unpleasant odours.