Wine distillery wastewaters (WDW) are acidic and have a high content of potential organic pollutants. This causes high chemical oxygen demand (COD) values. Polyphenols constitute a significant portion of this COD, and limit the efficiency of biological treatment of WDWs. WDW starting parameters were as follows: pH 3.83, 4,185 mg/l soluble COD (CODs) and 674.6 mg/l of phenols. During operation, amendments of CaCO3 and K2HPO4, individually or in combination, were required for buffering the digester. Volatile fatty acid concentrations were <300 mg/l throughout the study, indicating degradation of organic acids present. Mean CODs removal efficiency for the 130 day study was 87%, while the mean polyphenol, removal efficiency was 63%. Addition of 50 mg/l Fe3 +  between days 86 and 92 increased the removal efficiencies of CODs to 97% and of polyphenols to 65%. Addition of Co3 +  improved removal efficiencies to 97% for CODs and 92% for polyphenols. Optimization of anaerobic treatment was achieved at 30% WDW feed strength. Removal efficiencies of 92% and 84% were recorded at increased feed strength from days 108 to 130. High removal efficiencies of CODs and polyphenols after day 82 were attributed to the addition of macronutrients and micronutrients that caused pH stability and thus stimulated microbial activity.

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