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The environmental impacts and benefits of winery solid waste: filter materials and fining agents

by | Oct 28, 2020 | Uncategorized

Project Number
WW 19-12

Project title
The environmental impacts and benefits of winery solid waste: filter materials and fining agents

Project leader
Zingelwa, N S

Team members
Mulidzi, A R
Zingelwa, N S
Shange, P

Project description
There are no definite guidelines for wineries on the management of solid waste produced from clarifying and filtration methods, leading to environmentally safe practices. Fining agents such as bentonite and filtration products like diatomaceous earth are a non-reusable commodity and therefore disposal alternatives or alternative products need to be used in order to reduce waste quantities and therefore less detrimental environmental impacts. The aim of the project is to look at the disposal practices of winery solid wastes (used fining and filter material) as well as the beneficial use of these products. A survey is being run on approximately thirty wineries, large scale and small scale producers in three regions of the Western Cape, using a questionnaire in which key factors such as filtration methods, quantities of filter materials, and disposal methods are identified. Results show that a majority of wineries use bentonite as the key fining agent. The waste from this is collected by the waste collection companies such as Wastetech and Brenn-O-Kem. The major filtration methods used are bulk filtration in which various types of diatomaceous earth, depending on density are used. Perlite is used mostly in filtration with a drum filter. The components and quality of these two differ tremendously. The major problem identified is that most wineries, filter waste is not collected in tanks as set out in guidelines but is disposed on land whereby some liquid is leached into the soil before collection by the companies mentioned above. This creates a further problem of unfavourable odours and insects such as flies. Samples of filter waste have been collected from some wineries for quality and chemical analysis and will be compared to the SABS standards for use in composting.

Zingelwa, N and Shange, P. 2007. Present cellar practices on the use of fining and filter materials and the environmental risks posed. Poster presented at the 3rd International Congress of the South African Society for Enology and Viticutlture. 14-17 November, Somerset West, South Africa

Zingela, N. 2006. Present cellar practices with regard to filters and fining agents. Paper presented at the 29th National Congress of the South African Society for Enology and Viticulture. 14-17 November, Somerset West, South Africa


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