Fermentation of molasses and refining the produced alcohol by distillation is a common agroindustrial activity. The wastewaters originating from the process, especially the spent mash, are highly concentrated and contain TDS of over 50,000 mg/l as well as organic matter. Character of wastewaters varies with production application which affects the treatability characteristics. In this study four alcohol distillery plants treating beet sugar molasses are investigated to assess production applications and wastewater characteristics. Process profiles for three major modes of operation are prepared. Use of open steam and recycle of spent mash was calculated to affect the wastewater volume up to 25%. COD load is found to be practically unchanged with recycle while TDS increased significantly. Nature of COD and treatability characteristics are also expected to vary with recycle.

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