NEWS

Bioreactor developed for treating tequila industry effluent

A project led by Tecnológico de Monterrey Water Center for Latin America and the Caribbean researchers, in synergy with the Universidad de Guadalajara and SELFTEC and Safe Environment companies, designs and develops an innovative pre-treatment process for tequila ‘vinaza' and an upflow anaerobic reactor leading to less contaminated water.
fotografía

The project involved the design and technological development of an innovative process of pre - treatment of vinasses , resulting in a less polluted water.


Feb 23, 2015

NEWS SERVICE

According to Gibrán Alemán, PhD., a researcher at the Tecnológico de Monterrey's Water Center for Latin America and the Caribbean (CDA), an issue related to tequila production is the amount of waste generated by the industry itself, particularly in the shape of effluent known as "vinaza", a byproduct of tequila distillation.

Vinaza has a pH under 3.9 and a biological oxygen demand (BOD) of 30,000 to 60,000 parts per million (ppm), meaning that this type of waste can severely impact bodies of water if discharged directly –untreated- into them. In addition, its treatment can involve heavy costs.

Unfortunately, according to the National Tequila Industry Chamber, 30% of the total vinaza production is discharged into rivers and tributaries. That is why, led by CDA professor researcher Dr. Roberto Parra-Saldívar and coordinated by Dr. Alemán in synergy with companies SELFTEC S.A. de C.V. and Safe Environment S.A. de C.V., a high-technology project was launched at the Tecnológico de Monterrey's Water Center for Latin America and the Caribbean to develop an innovative pre-treatment process for tequila vinaza.

This process involves an electrocoagulation system, allowing for the design of an upflow anaerobic reactor. This produces a drop in turbidity, pH, chemical oxygen demand (COD), and biological oxygen demand parameters, resulting in a less contaminated water and manages to cut the COD of the original vinaza by 80%.



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