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UF as Pretreatment of RO for Tertiary Treatment of Biologically Treated Distillery Spentwash
Distillery spentwash contains high chemical oxygen demand (COD), biological oxygen demand (BOD), color, total dissolved solids (TDS) and other contaminants even after biological treatment. The effluent can’t be discharged as such in the surface water bodies or land without further treatment. Reverse osmosis (RO) treatment plants have been installed in many of the distilleries at tertiary level in many of the distilleries in India, but are not properly working due to fouling problem which is caused by the presence of high concentration of organic matter and other contaminants in biologically treated spentwash. In order to make the membrane treatment a proven and reliable technology, proper pre-treatment is mandatory. In the present study, ultra-filtration (UF) for pretreatment of RO at tertiary stage has been performed. Operating parameters namely initial pH (pHo: 2–10), trans-membrane pressure (TMP: 4-20 bars) and temperature (T: 15-43°C) were used for conducting experiments with UF system. Experiments were optimized at different operating parameters in terms of COD, color, TDS and TOC removal by using response surface methodology (RSM) with central composite design. The results showed that removal of COD, color and TDS was 62%, 93.5% and 75.5% respectively, with UF, at optimized conditions with increased permeate flux from 17.5 l/m2/h (RO) to 38 l/m2/h (UF-RO). The performance of the RO system was greatly improved both in term of pollutant removal as well as water recovery.
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