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J Environ Manage. 2008 Feb;86(3):481-97. Epub 2007 Feb 12.

Wastewater treatment in molasses-based alcohol distilleries for COD and color removal: a review.

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TERI University, Darbari Seth Block, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi 110 003, India.


Molasses-based distilleries are one of the most polluting industries generating large volumes of high strength wastewater. Different processes covering anaerobic, aerobic as well as physico-chemical methods have been employed to treat this effluent. Anaerobic treatment is the most attractive primary treatment due to over 80% BOD removal combined with energy recovery in the form of biogas. Further treatment to reduce residual organic load and color includes various: (i) biological methods employing different fungi, bacteria and algae, and (ii) physico-chemical methods such as adsorption, coagulation/precipitation, oxidation and membrane filtration. This work presents a review of the existing status and advances in biological and physico-chemical methods applied to the treatment of molasses-based distillery wastewater. Both laboratory and pilot/industrial studies have been considered. Furthermore, limitations in the existing processes have been summarized and potential areas for further investigations have been discussed.

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