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Anaerobic Membrane Bioreactor (AnMBR) Pilot-scale Treatment of Stillage from Tequila Production

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Tequila production produces a stillage of high COD and TSS strength, which creates environmental problems and deteriorates soil conditions. The new anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) process was proposed and a pilot system was accepted by a major tequila manufacturer for treating distillery wastewaters in Jalisco, Mexico. The pilot was operated onsite at the distillery from November 2008 to May 2009.

The influent stillage has COD strengths in the range of 35 000 to 70 000 mg/l with an average of 56 900 mg/l. Raw BOD and TSS concentrations into the pilot averaged 25 690 mg/l and 14 750 mg/l, respectively. BOD removal was consistently greater than 99 percent in the pilot and COD removal averaged 95 percent. TSS concentration is near negligible (measured as 4 mg/l) in the effluent.

Overall the pilot study demonstrated the very high performance, simplicity, and ease of operation of the AnMBR technology on this stillage wastewater—a wastewater which in the past was often considered to be difficult to treat.

Keywords: AnMBR pilot study; High strength stillage; Tequila production

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193864710798158922

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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