DECOLOURISATION OF MOLASSES DISTILLERY WASTEWATER
EVERSON J. PETERS *
Department of Civil Engineering, University of the West Indies, Trinidad, West Indies
Department of Civil Engineering, University of the West Indies, Trinidad, West Indies.
*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
There are growing general concerns about the pollution from wastewater in the Caribbean. In some of these countries, where molasses based distillery plants still operate, there is a particular concern about the wastewater discharges from such plants. These wastewater discharges are more than an environmental nuisance as they can pose a negative impact to nearby settlements on fragile ecosystems. In the case of Trinidad, the disposal of untreated molasses distillery wastewater (MDWW) affects the Caroni Swamps negatively. The swamps form one of the most important ecosysems on the island. A number of treatment processes have already been employed by manufactures in order to reduce the volumes of MDWW and to remove or reduce the colour causing complexes. In this study diluted MDWW was treated through a coagulation / flocculation process using alum and ferric chloride, activated carbon and oxidation by Fenton’s reagent. Results from the study showed that a combination of physiochemical treatment methods can lead to substantial colour removal. The results from the experiments in the study suggest that an effective prototype treatment system can be developed for the treatment of wastewater of such a quality at affordable prices.
Keywords: Decolourization, wastewater, molasses distillery