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Sistema de Información Científica
Red de Revistas Científicas de América Latina y el Caribe, España y Portugal
Rev. Int. Contam. Ambient. 23 (1) 17-24, 2007
REDUCTION OF SOLIDS AND ORGANIC LOAD CONCENTRATIONS IN TEQUILA VINASSES
USING A POLYACRYLAMIDE (PAM) POLYMER FLOCCULANT
Gilberto ÍÑIGUEZ-COVARRUBIAS
1
and Francisco PERAZA-LUNA
2
1
Universidad de Guadalajara, Departamento de madera, celulosa y papel. Km. 15.5 carretera Guadalajara-No-
gales, Las Agujas, Zapopan, Jal. Apartado Postal 51-93 Guadalajara, Jal. 45020, México
2
Instituto Tecnológico Agropecuario de Jalisco. Centro de Investigación y Graduados Agropecuarios. Km. 10
carretera Guadalajara-San Miguel Cuyutlán. Tlajomulco de Zúñiga, Jalisco 45649, México
(Recibido agosto 2006, aceptado febrero 2007)
Key words:
tequila vinasses; solids separation; rotating screen; polycrylamide (PAM)
ABSTRACT
This study consisted of three experiments designed to evaluate the practicality of using
a cationic polyacrylamide (PAM) polymer focculant to reduce commonly used aquatic
pollution indicators in tequila vinasses. A Frst experiment with a 2 x 2 ±actorial ar
-
rangement was used to observe the e±±ects on vinasses o± Fve di±±erent concentrations
of PAM (20, 60, 100, 140 and 180 g/L) at two different temperatures, 25 and 90 °C.
In a second experiment vinasses from different tequila factories were treated with 200
mg/L o± PAM and the focculated solids separated in a pilot-scale cylindrical rotating
screen separator constructed o± non-oxidized steel. In a third experiment the focculation
study was carried out in a small tequila factory using 4,500 liters of tequila vinasses
treated with 200 mg/L of PAM discharged from three different pot stills. Recovered
focculated solids (g/L), settleable solids (SS, ml/L), total solids (TS, mg/L), total
suspended solids (TSS, mg/L), total dissolved solids (TDS, mg/L) and chemical oxy-
gen demand (COD, mg/L) concentrations were the evaluated answer parameters. The
major effect in the PAM addition to vinasses samples in the two different temperature
conditions, was refected in the removal e±Fciency o± SS and TSS. In SS concentration
o± treated vinasses there was a signiFcant e±±ect (p<0.05) due to temperature and PAM
concentrations so as well as an interaction between both ±actors. TS removal e±Fciency
was affected by the temperature and PAM concentration and there was no interaction
among the temperature and coagulant concentration (p<0.05). COD concentration
in vinasses samples, was affected only by the coagulant concentration, there was no
interaction among temperature and coagulant concentration (p<0.05). Vinasse cool
-
ing and pH adjustment was not considered necessary for optimal polymer-amended
vinasses solids separation. For vinasses with a SS of 400 mg/L or less an addition of
200 mg/L of PAM it is expected to have optimal removal values of SS and relatively
acceptable values of TS, TSS and COD. Estimate costs associated with the level of
PAM used in this study corresponded to 0.076 dollar per liter when the PAM cost was
3.8 dollar per kilogram.
Palabras clave: vinazas de tequila, separación de sólidos, Fltro rotatorio, poliacrilamida
G. Íñiguez-Covarrubias and F. Peraza-Luna
18
RESUMEN
El presente estudio se basó en tres tipos de experimentos para evaluar la aplicación
de un foculante catiónico de un polímero de poliacrilamida (PAM), para reducir
indicadores de contaminación acuática por vinazas de tequila. Se realizó un primer
experimento con un arreglo factorial de 2 x 2 para observar los efectos sobre vinazas
tequileras de cinco diferentes concentraciones de PAM (20, 60, 100, 140 y 180 g/L)
a dos temperaturas diferentes 25 y 90 ºC. En un segundo experimento, vinazas tequi-
leras de diFerentes compañías Fueron tratadas con 200 mg/L de PAM. El fóculo Fue
recuperado en un separador piloto cilíndrico rotatorio construido de acero inoxidable.
En un tercer experimento, el estudio de la foculación Fue realizado en una pequeña
fábrica de tequila utilizando 4,500 litros de vinazas provenientes de tres diferentes
alambiques de destilación con 200 mg/L de foculante. Los parámetros de respuesta que
se utilizaron para la evaluación del foculante Fueron: sólidos foculados recuperados
(g/L), sólidos sedimentables (SS, ml/L), sólidos totales (ST, mg/L), sólidos suspen-
didos totales (SST, mg/L), sólidos disueltos totales (SDT, mg/L) y demanda química
oxígeno (DQO, mg/L). El mayor eFecto de la adición de PAM sobre las muestras de
vinazas, en las dos diFerentes condiciones de temperatura, Fue refejado por la e±ciencia
de remoción de SS y SST. En la concentración de SS en las vinazas tratadas, hubo un
eFecto signi±cativo (p<0.05) debido a la temperatura y a las concentraciones de PAM,
así como a la interrelación de ambos Factores. La e±ciencia de remoción de ST Fue
afectada por la temperatura y la concentración de PAM aunque hubo interacción de la
temperatura y la concentración del coagulante (p<0.05). La concentración de DQO de
las muestras de vinazas, fue afectada solamente por la concentración del coagulante y
no por la interrelación de la temperatura y la concentración del coagulante (p<0.05).
No se consideró necesario el enfriamiento de las vinazas ni el ajuste de pH para una
separación óptima de los sólidos de las vinazas por acción del polímero. Para las vinazas
con 400 mg/l de SS ó menos, se espera que la adición de 200 mg/L de PAM genere
valores óptimos de remoción de SS y valores relativamente aceptables de ST, SST y
DQO. Se estima que los costos asociados con las concentraciones de PAM utilizadas
en este estudio, corresponden a 0.076 de dólar por litro de vinazas cuando el PAM
cuesta 3.8 dólares por kilogramo.
INTRODUCTION
Tequila is a distilled beverage classically associated
with Mexico. In addition to an alcoholic beverage, the
tequila industry generates two byproducts: (a) ligno-
cellulosic material called agave bagasse (1,200 g/L of
tequila, wet basis) and (b) distillery wastewater gener-
ally known as vinasses. In a typical tequila distillery,
7 to 10 L vinasses are produced per liter of tequila at
100 proof (Cedeño 1995). In 2005, Mexico produced
177.4 millions liters of tequila (40% Alc. Vol.) (Con-
sejo Regulador del
Tequila, CRT 2005). 59.3 millions
from sugars of agave plant and 118.1 millions from a
minimum of 51% agave sugars mixed with up to 49%
other sweeteners (white sugar, brown sugar, glucose,
fructose, molasses, etc). Tequila vinasses are the dis-
tillation residual product of the fermented wort, once
richly alcoholic products (tequila) were separated by
means of heat and pressure. Tequila vinasses are a
highly recalcitrant waste hardly decomposed by the
usual biological processes such as activated sludge
since it is highly coloured due probably to the pres-
ence of melanoidins. Melanoidins are present in spent
wash from molasses distilleries (Sirianuntapiboon
et al.
1988). These are brown polymers formed by
the Maillar amino-carbonyl reactions (Wedzicha
and Kaputo 1992). They have antioxidant properties
and are often toxic to microorganisms used in waste
treatment (Kitts
et al.
1993). Besides, tequila vinasses
have a low pH (3.5) and high temperature. Vinasses is
a potential water pollutant in two ways. First, because
it is highly coloured, it would block out light from
rivers and streams thereby preventing oxygenation
by photosynthesis an hence would be detrimental
to aquatic life. Second, vinasses themselves have a
high pollution load having a total nitrogen, chemi-
cal oxygen demand (COD) and biochemical oxygen
demand (BOD) in the order of 52,628 and 24,575
mg/L, respectively. Vinasses are also a potential soil
pollutant. If disposed on land without any control,
they reduce the alkalinity of the soil and crops may be
destroyed. Vinasses have also been shown to inhibit
seed germination (Nalleli 2004). The treatment of this
waste therefore remains a problem, that is why tequila
POLYMER FLOCCULANT IN TREATMENT OF TEQUILA VINASSES
19
producers are seeking alternative treatments to reduce
excessive organic loading.
Currently, vinasses are disposed on land, by
lagooning in ponds and/or by discharge into natu-
ral aquatic systems. A proper approach to tequila
vinasses treatment must necessarily involve effec-
tive treatments that are both economically feasible
to sustain the tequila production business and also
benefcial ±or the ecosystem.
As the practice of tequila production increases,
there is an urgent need ±or e±fcient and a±±ordable
treatment alternatives for handling excess contami-
nants and associated problems such as deterioration
of water quality and nuisance odors.
It is obvious that, in order to signifcantly improve
tequila vinasses management, we need technologies
that can achieve effective separation of solids from
liquids.
Vinasses solids contain solid agave particles
consisting mainly of cellulose and pectin, and yeast
cells, in addition to proteins, mineral salts, and some
organic acids (Cedeño 1995). Solids separation is a
common primary wastewater treatment. One such
technology is ionic transfer using polymers where
fne particulates typical o± vinasses could be coagu
-
lated and ²occulated.
Coagulation is a process of gathering solids that
are suspended in a liquid into a mass to form particles
that can settle. Flocculation is a process that con-
nects coagulated particles into large, rapidly settling
masses, also called ²ocks.
Solids separation may yield a value-added biore-
source that may be used as fodder feed (Íñiguez
et al.
1996, 2000). Therefore along with the solids, there is
a signifcant capture o± organic nutrients and oxygen-
demanding compounds associated with the clumping
of the small suspended particles that usually escape
through screens or clog sand flters.
Also coupling solid-liquid separation with com-
posting of solids and sprinkler irrigation of the liquid
component of vinasses may be an acceptable disposal
strategy. Íñiguez
et al.
(2005) composted agave ba-
gasse with vinasses (including solids) and the compost
product had no adverse effects on seedling emergence,
relative growth,
in vitro
germination and root elongation
of cucumber seeds. Polyacrylamide (PAM) polymer has
been used as primary coagulant to promote the forma-
tion of aggregates in liquid swine manure. Walker and
Kelly (2003) ±or instance, evaluated the e±fciency o± a
polyacrylamide (PAM) ²occulate-aided solids separa
-
tion treatment to reduce pollution indicator concentra-
tions in raw (untreated) swine waste slurry.
Results indicated that polymer amendments at
concentrations of 62.5-750 mg/L improved slurry
solids separation e±fciency and signifcantly reduced
concentrations of other associated aquatic pollution
indicators in a majority of analyses conducted.
Martinez-Almeda J. and Barrera (2005), using
polymer technology (PAM) reached high recovery
solids (90 %) in liquid swine manure. Vanotti
et al.
(2005), using also PAM in liquid swine manure,
reported e±fciency removal o± 98 and 84 % o± total
suspended solids (TSS) and COD respectively.
The goal of this work was to demonstrate the ef-
fcacy o± PAM to remove organic compounds ±rom
tequila vinasses samples especially those compounds
causing sedimentation problems and facilitate further
vinasses treatment and/or utilization in sprinkler ir-
rigation.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
This project consisted of three experiments de-
signed to evaluate the practicality of using a cationic
polyacrylamide (PAM) polymer ²occulant (SNF
Floerger®, France; the PAM bulk viscosity was 1140
cps, the UL viscosity was 4.6 cps, and the non volatile
solids was 48.7 %) to remove organic compounds
from tequila vinasses samples.
The tequila vinasses samples chosen for analysis
represented vinasses generated from small tequila
±actories up to highly technifed tequila ±actories.
In a frst experiment using a jar test methodology
a factorial design of two factors with 10 treatments
and three replicates for each treatment was used to
observe the effects of PAM on some constituents of
vinasses. One ±actor was the polymer ²occulant at
fve levels o± concentration (20, 60, 100, 140, and
180 mg/L) and the other factor was temperature at
two levels 25 and 90 °C.
Settleable solids (SS), total solids (TS), total sus-
pended solids (TSS), total dissolved solids (TDS),
chemical oxygen demand (COD) and recovered
²occulated solids were the evaluated parameters.
COD was chosen to measure organic load rather
than BOD due to high temperatures of discharged
vinasses (90 °C) to affect BOD results.
Vinasses sub-samples of 500 mL were dispensed
into 1000 mL glass beakers and mixed with appropri-
ate amounts of PAM.
Mixing with a Hach® six-paddle, adjustable speed
jar test apparatus (Hach Company®; Loveland, CO)
was initiated at approximately 30 revolutions per
minute (rpm) and maintained for 10 min to accom-
plish thorough mixing and to allow particle coagula-
G. Íñiguez-Covarrubias and F. Peraza-Luna
20
tion and focculant (fock) Formation (focculation).
During this 10 min appropriate amounts of PAM were
added to reach the desired ±nal concentration.
In a second experiment vinasses from different
tequila factories were treated with 200 mg/L of PAM
and the focculated solids separated in a pilot-scale
cylindrical rotating screen separator constructed of
oxidized steel (63 cm diameter, 1.22 m length) with
2 mm openings. (
Fig. 1
).
The screen rotated on rollers attached to parallel
drive shafts. Power to the two shafts was provided
by a 0.5 hp gear reduction motor assembly. In a third
experiment a focculation study was carried out in
a small tequila factory using 4.500 liters of tequila
vinasses treated with 200 mg/L of PAM discharged
from three different pot stills (1,500 litters each).
The focculant was added in the moment oF vi
-
nasses discharge. Treated vinasses were discharged
into a holding pit were supernatant was removed by
pumping and the focculated solids separated in the
same pilot-scale cylindrical rotating screen used in
the second study.
Chemical analysis
Settleable solids (SS, mL/L), total solids (TS,
mg/L), total suspended solids (TSS, mg/L), total dis-
solved solids (TDS, mg/L) and chemical oxygen de-
mand (COD, mg/L) concentrations were determined
for both raw and PAM-amended tequila vinasses
according to APHA (1992). Vinasses pH values were
determined using a HANNA pH meter, model 211
(HANNA Instruments, Portugal) in standard 0 to 14
pH scale units. Adjustment of pH was not consid-
ered to be necessary For optimal PAM focculation
eF±ciency by the manuFacturer. Removal eF±ciency
of TS, TSS, TDS and COD were calculated based
on the concentration of the contaminants in samples
of completely mixed vinasses without polymer
focculant in comparison to the concentration in
the supernatant of treated samples after allowing
the vinasses to settle for 45 minutes.
²or settleable solids, the removal eF±ciency was
calculated based on the concentration in samples of
completely mixed vinasses without polymer foc
-
culant in comparison to the concentration after the
focculated solids removal.
Statistical analyses
Results were subjected to analysis of variance for
a completely randomized two factor factorial design
Followed by the LSD test at p < 0.05 (Montgomery
1991).
RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS
Table I
shows the average treatment performance
oF solid-liquid separation process using ±ve PAM
concentrations (20, 60, 100, 140 and 180 mg/L) at
two different temperatures (25 and 90
o
C). The non
PAM treated vinasses sample had a SS content of 150
ml/L, and a TS, TSS, TDS and COD concentrations
of 26,267, 5,280, 20,987 and 43,228 mg/L, respec-
tively. In SS concentration of treated vinasses there
was a signi±cant eFFect (p<0.05) due to temperature
and PAM concentrations, as well as an interaction
between both factors.
At 25 and 90 °C, the SS removal eF±ciency was
about 90 % or more for PAM concentrations of 60, 100,
140 and 180 mg/L. At 25 °C for the PAM concentra-
tion oF 20 mg/L the SS removal eF±ciency was about
52.5 % while at 90
°C the SS removal eF±ciency was
about 81.3%.
At 90
°C, an SS removal eF±ciency oF about 97.9
% or more was reached for PAM concentrations of
60, 100, 140 and 180 mg/L.
TS concentration in vinasses samples were af-
fected by the temperature and PAM concentrations.
For higher PAM concentrations, higher values of TS
removal eF±ciency (p<0.05).
TS removal eF±ciency was infuenced by the
temperature and PAM concentration and there was
no interaction between the temperature and coagulant
concentration (p<0.05) were seen.
TSS removal eF±ciency oF about 76 % or more
were reached at 90 °C and 100, 140 and 180 mg/L
of coagulant concentration. COD concentration in
Fig. 1
. View of
pilot-scale cylindrical rotating screen for separa-
tion oF vinasses focculated solids
POLYMER FLOCCULANT IN TREATMENT OF TEQUILA VINASSES
21
vinasses samples, was affected only by the coagu-
lant concentration, there was no interaction among
temperature and coagulant concentration (P<0.05).
At 25 °C, COD removal ef±ciency was between 9.0
and 23.9 % and at 90 °C between 15.5 and 21.7 %,
depending on PAM concentrations, higher PAM
concentration imply higher COD removal.
In summary it can be seen, that the major effect
in the PAM addition to vinasses samples in the two
different temperature conditions, was re²ected in the
removal ef±ciency of SS and TSS, due to this, TDS
concentrations were almost the same.
Table II
shows the treatment performance of
solid-liquid separation process using vinasses from 5
different tequila factories. 300 liters of vinasses were
treated with 200 mg/L of PAM except for vinasses
from “Leyros” tequila factory, that received 400 mg/L
of PAM (two times, 200 mg/L each one) due to high
solids concentration.
In vinasses treated with 200 mg/L of PAM the
SS removal ef±ciency was between 95.1 % (“La
Rojeña”) and 100 % (“Cascahuin”), TS removal ef-
±ciency between 10.6 % (“Cascahuin”) and 25.6 %
(“La Noria”), TSS removal ef±ciency between 64.8 %
(“La Rojeña”) and 93.4 % (“Evolución 501”) and
COD removal ef±ciency between 12.7 % (Cascahuin)
and 38.6 % (“La Noria”).
As expected, recovered ²occulated solids were
higher for vinasses with higher SS concentration. In
“La Noria” tequila factory with a vinasses SS con-
centration of 400 mL/L, 37.6 kg of ²occulated solids
with a dry matter content of 5% were recovered,
while in vinasses form “Cascahuin” tequila factory
with a vinasses SS concentration of 72 mL/L, only
11.2 kg of ²occulated solids with a dry matter content
of 10.4% were recovered.
It is not easy to take a representative sample of
vinasses mainly by its high temperature (90 °C) and
because at the end of the distillation process the vi-
nasses solids settle in the bottom of the pot stills.
Different vinasses solids concentration and COD
for the ±ve different tequila factories sampled was
due to that and also to different technological devel-
opment used to produce tequila.
The high solids content and COD of vinasses
form “Leyros” tequila factory was noticed, because
samples were taken from a vinasses deposit and not
from pot stills.
A ±rst dose of 200 mg/L of PAM to vinasses of
“Leyros” tequila factory reduced the concentrations
of SS, TS, TSS and COD in 72.2, 28.5, 46.1 and 18.8
%, respectively.
A second dose also of 200 mg/L reduced the con-
centrations of SS, TS, TSS and COD in 99.3, 49.5,
90.2 and 52 %, respectively.
Based on results generated by this study, for
vinasses with a SS of 400 mg/L or less an addition
of 200 mg/L of PAM, should have optimal removal
values of SS and relatively acceptable values of TS,
TSS and COD.
TABLE I.
AVERAGE TREATMENT PERFORMANCE OF SOLID-LIQUID SEPARATION PROCESS USING FIVE PAM CON
-
CENTRATIONS (20, 60, 100, 140 AND 180 g/L) AT TWO DIFFERENT TEMPERATURES (25 AND 90 °C)
PAM concentrations (mg/L)
Analyses
0
20
60
100
140
180
At 25
o
C
Settleable solids (SS, ml/L)
150
a
71.3(52.5)
1b
8.6(94.2)
cd
9.7(93.5)
acd
15(90)
c
6.6(95.6)
d
Total solids (TS, mg/L)
26,267
a
24,683(6.0)
b
23,700(9.7)
c
22,925(12.7)
d
22,716(13.5)
e
21,908(16.6)
f
Total suspended solids (TSS, mg/L)
5,280
a
3,600(31.8)
b
2,266(57.1)
c
2,011(61.9)
cd
1,978(62.5)
cd
1,555(70.5)
d
Total dissolved solids (TDS, mg/L)
2
20,987
21,083
21,434
20,914
20,739
20,353
Chemical oxygen demand
(COD, mg/L)
43,228
a
39,338(9.0)
b
36,785(14.9)
c
36,146(16.4)
c
33,421(22.7)
c
32,881(23.9)
c
At 90
o
C
Settleable solids (SS, ml/L)
150
a
28(81.3)
b
3.1(97.9)
cd
1.6(98.9)
acd
0(100)
c
0.2(99.8)
c
Total solids (TS, mg/L)
26,267
a
25,450(3.1)
b
24,500(6.7)
c
23,808(9.3)
d
22,700(13.6)
e
21,858(16.8)
f
Total suspended solids (TSS, mg/L)
5,280
a
2,644(49.5)
b
1,555(70.5)
c
1,222(76.8)
cd
1,222(76.8)
cd
955(81.9)
d
Total dissolved solids (TDS, mg/L)
20,987
22,806
22,945
22,586
21,478
20,903
Chemical oxygen demand
(COD, mg/L)
43,228
a
36,528(15.5)
b
35,855(17.0)
c
33,422(22.7)
c
33,504(22.5)
c
33,837(21.7)
c
1
Removal ef±ciency(%)
2
TDS were calculated by difference of TS and TSS.
a, b, c, d, e, f
Values followed by the same letter in a given row do not differ at p ≤ 0.05 by LSD test
G. Íñiguez-Covarrubias and F. Peraza-Luna
22
TABLE II.
VINASSES SOLIDS AND COD CONCENTRATION REDUCTION TREATMENT EFFICIENCY WITH 200 mg/L PAM ADDITION OF DIFFERENT TEQUILA
FACTORIES. PILOT STUDIES
Tequila factory
“La Noria”
“La Rojeña”
“Leyros”
“Cascahuin”
“Evolución 501”
Analyses
before
treatment
a
after
treatment
before
treatment
b
after
treatment
before
treatment
c
after
treatment
after
treatment
1
before
treatment
d
after
treatment
before
treatment
e
after
treatment
pH
3.6
3,6
3.6
3.6
3.5
3.5
3.5
3.9
3.9
3.5
3.5
Settleable solids (SS, ml/L)
400
5(98.7)
2
350
17(95.1)
900
250(72.2)
6(99.3)
72
0(100)
200
0.5(99.7)
Total solids (TS, mg/L)
21,883
16,283(25.6)29,300
22,216(24.1)
56,900
40,700(28.5)28,700(49.5)
41,578
37,144(10.6)28,43121,394(24.7)
Total suspended solids
(TSS, mg/L)
6,400
1,133(82.3)
10,266
3,616(64.8)
26,666
14,000(46.1)
2,600(90.2)
8,950
2,750(69.3)
6,400
421(93.4)
Total dissolved solids
(TDS, mg/L)
15,483
15,150(2.1)
19,034
18,600(2.3)
30,234
26,700(11.7)26,100(13.7)
32,628
34,394
22,031
20,973(4.8)
Chemical oxygen demand
(COD, mg/L)
43,541
26,704(38.6)48,230
39,857(17,3)
74,414
60,452(18.8)35,700(52.0)
73,692
64,340(12.7)44,11632,351(26.6)
Recovered focculated
solids (kg)
3
37.6
(5 % DM)
30.6
(7.5 % DM)
39.6
(9.2 % DM)
49.1
(12.0 % DM)
11.2
(10.4 % DM)
12.1
(9.3 % DM)
a
25
o
C,
b
48
o
C,
c
35
o
C,
d
70
o
C,
e
75
o
C, respectively
1
With 500 mg/L PAM adition
2
Removal e±²ciency(%)
3
In 300 treated liters
POLYMER FLOCCULANT IN TREATMENT OF TEQUILA VINASSES
23
An excess in the addition of PAM can contribute to
form a sticky ±ock dif²cult to handle in the separation
process. However, as in the case of “Leyros” tequila
factory where we had a high solid vinasses concentra-
tion, it can contribute to an inef²cient solids removal
for lack of PAM, that means, for each tequila factory, it
will be necessary to adjust the optimum PAM addition
to achieve the maximum removal of solids and COD.
Table III
shows the average treatment perfor-
mance of solid-liquid separation process in a small
tequila factory using 200 mg/L of PAM concentra-
tion to treat 4,500 liters of vinasses. This amount
of vinasses were discharged every two hours from
three pot stills distilling fermented wort. Removal
ef²ciency of SS, TS, TSS and COD was 100, 19.1,
94 and 15.7 % respectively. Total dissolved solids
increased from 25,999 to 35,313 mainly due to SS
and TSS removal where PAM has its principal ef-
fect. From this tequila factory were recovered 357
kg of ±occulated solids were recovered with a water
content of 83.4%, which corresponds to 79.3 g of
±occulated solids per liter of vinasses. Estimate costs
associated with the level of PAM used in this study
corresponded to 0.076 dollar per liter when the PAM
cost was 3.8
dollar per kilogram. Vinasses separated
solids may yield a value-added bioresource that may
be used as fodder feed or composting amendment
due to its retained nutrient content and reduced water
content.
Nowadays the tequila production process is not
the same in all tequila factories. It can vary from 100
% agave tequila production to 49 % by weight of
other sources of sugars. Also, the process can vary in
the way of hydrolyzing inulin (agave sugar) into free
sugars. Some factories use brick ovens or autoclaves
for cooking the agave heads. Others tear uncooked
agave heads ²rst, using a knife cutter, and place the
resulting pieces, mixed with water, into autoclaves to
be cooked. Finally others tear uncooked agave heads
into small pieces to extract the inulin with hot water.
The extracted inulin is then hydrolyzed in autoclaves.
For those reasons, vinasses chemical characteristics,
mainly settleable solids and total solids content, will
depend on the tequila production process. To estab-
lish a standard ±occulant dose to be used for treatment
of all vinasses resulting from different production
processes, constitutes an incalculable risk.
The results of this research intend to serve as a
guide for establishing a ±occulant dose geared at a
speci²c tequila factory vinasses treatment. Based on
these results each tequila factory will have to estab-
lish its own speci²c dose for the vinasses treatment
according to chemical analysis and desired solids
removal ef²ciency. Lack of ±occulant can result in
an inef²cient solids separation and an excess can give
a sticky ±ock dif²cult to recuperate.
In the second and third experiments 200 mg/L of
PAM were used to make sure that the ef²ciency of
separation, mainly of settleable solids, would not be
affected by a lack of ±occulant as in the experiment
with Leyros tequila vinasses, where the addition of
300 mg/L of PAM was required to remove 99.3 % of
settleable solids and 49.5 % of total solids in com-
parison to 72.2 % of settleable solids and 28.5 % of
total solids when 200 mg/L of PAM were used.
CONCLUSIONS
In the ²rst experiment using jar-test methodol
-
ogy, at 25 and 90 °C, the SS removal ef²ciency was
about 90 % or more for PAM concentrations of 60,
100, 140 and 180 mg/L. TS removal ef²ciency was
affected by temperature and PAM concentrations.
TS removal ef²ciency increased with PAM con
-
centration. At 90 °C and with PAM concentrations
of 20 and 180 mg/L, ST removal ef²ciency was 3.1
and 16.8 %, respectively. At 25 °C, COD removal
ef²ciency was between 9.0 and 23.9 % and at 90
°C between 15.5 and 21.7 %, depending of PAM
concentrations, COD removal also increased with
PAM concentration.
In vinasses from different tequila factories treated
with 200 mg/L of PAM, the SS removal ef²ciency
was between 95.1 % (“La Rojeña”) and 100 %
TABLE III.
VINASSES SOLIDS AND COD CONCEN-
TRATION REDUCTION TREATMENT EFFI-
CIENCY WITH 200 mg/L PAM ADDITION OF
“CASCAHUIN” TEQUILA FACTORY. SMALL
COMMERCIAL SCALE
“Cascahuin” Tequila factory
Analyses
before
treatment
a
after
treatment
pH
3.9
3.9
Settleable solids (SS, ml/L)
284
0.0(100)
Total solids (TS, mg/L)
45,037
36,445(19.1)
Total suspended solids
(TSS, mg/L)
19,038
1,132(94.0)
Total dissolved solids
(TDS, mg/L)
2
25,999
35,313
Chemical oxygen demand
(COD, mg/L)
38,215
32,047(15.7)
Recovered ±occulated solids
(kg)
3
357
(16.6% DM)
a
90 °C
G. Íñiguez-Covarrubias and F. Peraza-Luna
24
(“Cascahuin”), TS removal efFciency between 10.6
% (“Cascahuin”) and 25.6 % (“La Noria”), and COD
removal efFciency between 12.7 % (“Cascahuin”)
and 38.6 % (“La Noria”).
The ±occulated solids were successfully separated
in a pilot-scale cylindrical rotating screen with 0.2
mm openings.
Estimated costs associated with the level of PAM
used in this study correspond to 0.076 dollar per liter
for a PAM cost of 3.8 dollar per kilogram.
The results obtained support the hypothesis that
solids separation from tequila vinasses can be en-
hanced by use of a chemical polymer (PAM) ±occu
-
lation treatment. Vinasse cooling and pH adjustment
was not considered necessary for optimal polymer
amended vinasses solids separation. However, results
suggest that PAM-aided solids separation facilitates
further ef±uent treatment and may therefore reduce
the risk of environmental degradation following
solids composting.
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