A novel method that turns wine industry effluent into valuable product streams

Project number
UWC BB 20-01

Project leader
Bladergroen, B J

Institution
South African Institute for Advanced Materials Chemistry Energy Storage and Fluid Treatment Centre, University of the Western Cape

Start date
2020

Project description
In this project, an unconventional, unprecedented, inventive, ground-breaking and robust technology will be tested on winery effluent. Previous research has shown it is a promising alternative to current available technology.
Costs associated with both water consumption and waste water treatment form an ever increasing portion of the operational budget of many wineries, exacerbated by reduced rainfall and more stringent municipal regulations around effluent discharge. Re-use of winery wastewater for irrigation purposes without treatment is often not recommended as the Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) and Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) levels cause the water to be an unfit source. The potential for water re-use in the wine industry is great but currently the cost of water treatment plants is too high, specifically for many small to medium scale wineries.
This new technology aims to address major shortcomings of current treatment systems and other challenges. These include cost efficiency of wastewater treatment and reducing the suspended solids, COD and TDS levels of effluent, making the treated effluent more compatible as a source for irrigation water.

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