Brewery and winery wastewater treatment: Some focal points of design and operation
Environmental issues are a critical factor for today's industry competitiveness. Indeed, the society and the individual consumers could set a common framework for companies' commitment and engagement regarding environment protection. Redesigning the process, recovering by-products, or reusing effluents are some of the possible actions towards an ecoefficient strategy. Nevertheless, a point remains crucial in such a mission: the ability to defend natural ecosystems from polluted wastewaters. For such a purpose, a wastewater treatment plant that maximizes removal efficiency and minimizes investment and operation costs is a key factor. Brewery and winery are traditional industries with an important economic value in the agrofood sector. In 2003, the total beer production in the European Union (18 countries) was 344×105 m3, being recorded at 1,800 breweries with 110,000 employees. If Norway, Switzerland, and Turkey are also included, those numbers rise to 358×105 m3, 1,839 units and 117,000, respectively. The excise revenue from the beer industry in all these countries reaches over 8800×106€ (The Brewers of Europe, 2004). The worldwide wine production is 261×105 m3 (data from 2002), of which 69% is from Europe, 18% from America, 5% from Asia, 4% from Africa, and 4% from Oceania. The worldwide wine consumption (2002) is 228×105 m3, distributed by Europe (68%), America (20%), Asia (7%), Africa (3%), and Oceania (2%) (OIV, 2002). This chapter intends to present some key points on design and operation in wastewater treatment of the brewery and winery industries. Therefore, an introduction of the industrial processes is first presented and then wastewater characteristics and treatment processes are discussed. Finally, the experience of a collaborative effort between the University of Minho and two industrial companies, Unicer SA and ACPB (Adega Cooperativa de Ponte da Barca) is presented in order to address some practical problems of wastewater systems design and operation. Unicer SA and ACPB are very important players in their field of activity: Unicer has the major share of the beer market in Portugal and ACPB is a very well-known producer of wine with appellation of origin Vinho Verde. © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.