In most cases of winery effluent, the heavy metal content, especially zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu), does not meet the limits for the discharge as imposed by the most restrictive regulations at international level (0.4 mgCu/L and 1.0 mgZn/L in the Italian regulations). An alternative for the reduction of Cu and Zn is the on-site pre-treatment of wastewater at the winery in order to meet the limits for the discharge into the public sewerage. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a pre-treatment based on chemical precipitation with chelating agents (TMT: 2,4,6-trimercaptotriazine), for the reduction of Cu and Zn from raw winery wastewater. The chemical precipitation was optimised at lab-scale through jar tests in order to evaluate the optimal dosages. An average dosage equal to 0.84 mL of TMT (15%) for 1 mg of Cu removed was estimated. Furthermore, the efficiency of the on-site chemical pre-treatment was investigated at pilot scale. The results confirmed the feasibility of using TMT treatment for the reduction of Cu and Zn in order to meet the limits for discharge into the sewerage. Contextually to the removal of heavy metals, the chemical pre-treatment allowed us to obtain the reduction of particulate COD and TSS. Finally, the costs for the operation and the management of the on-site pre-treatment were evaluated.

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