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Treatment of vinasse by electrocoagulative process

Grant number: 18/02862-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2018
Effective date (End): May 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Food Science and Technology - Food Technology
Principal Investigator:Claudio Lima de Aguiar
Grantee:João Vitor Napolitano Viotto
Host Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil


The production of the Brazilian sugar cane sector exceeds R$ 150 billion, producing mainly sugar and ethanol. Despite the contribution to the economy, the mills produce a large volume of byproducts, among which stands out the vinasse, deriving from the ethanol production. For each liter of ethanol produced, an average of 13L of vinasse is generated. The forecast for 2017 is the production of 27 billion of liters of ethanol, resulting in 351 billion liters of vinasse. Due to its low pH, high organic load and other pollutant characteristics, the discard in water collections in the country has been forbidden in 1978. From then started the search for treatment/reusing methods, being the most adopted one the use on fertirrigation of the sugar cane fields. The current project will investigate the electrocution as an alternative method for vinasse treatment, aiming specially at recovering the water: 93% of its contents. The settling speed will be calculated on three experiments with tensions of 10, 20 and 30V. Chemical analyses of pH, total soluble solids, turbidity, conductivity, aluminum, phosphate, nitrate, nitrite, total nitrogen, chemical oxygen demand and alkalinity will be carried out, as well as biological analysis of total coliforms. These analyses intend to demonstrate the efficiency of the treatment method, comparing the obtained values to those provided by wastewater reuse laws. The average profile (diameter, concentration, total potassium and total nitrogen) will be determined for the particles/flocs. (AU)

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