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Vinasse Treatment within the Sugarcane-Ethanol Industry Using Ozone Combined with Anaerobic and Aerobic Microbial Processes

Department of Chemical Engineering, Engineering School of Lorena, University of São Paulo, Lorena, 12602-810 São Paulo, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Environments 2019, 6(1), 5;
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 3 January 2019 / Published: 7 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advanced Oxidation Applications)
PDF [1811 KB, uploaded 7 January 2019]


The production of ethanol from sugarcane or molasses generates vinasse, a residue rich in organic matter and minerals. Vinasse is often used in fertilization and irrigation practices, which may be linked to negative environmental outcomes if excess is applied. Herein, we introduce a novel alternative to the treatment of vinasse promoting the reduction in Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) levels, phenolic compounds, and its mineral content through the coupling of ozone treatment, anaerobic digestion, and the aerobic growth of fungi. The ozone treatment is able to remove about 30% of the total COD, and deplete the concentration of phenolic compounds, while anaerobic digestion produces biogas and generates vinasse digestate, which is less biorecalcitrant than raw vinasse. The aerobic fungal growth generates oleaginous fungal biomass and promotes over 80% of Kjeldahl-Nitrogen in the vinasse. If vinasse were treated following the sequence of anaerobic digestion, aerobic fungal growth, and ozone treatment, the effluent would have about 95% of the COD decreased, complete removal of phenolic compounds, and over 80% of Kjeldahl-Nitrogen. View Full-Text
Keywords: vinasse; phenol; ozone; digestate vinasse; phenol; ozone; digestate

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Reis, C.E.R.; Bento, H.B.S.; Alves, T.M.; Carvalho, A.K.F.; De Castro, H.F. Vinasse Treatment within the Sugarcane-Ethanol Industry Using Ozone Combined with Anaerobic and Aerobic Microbial Processes. Environments 2019, 6, 5.

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