Journal of Hazardous Materials, Vol.163, No.1, 12-25, 2009
Distillery spent wash: Treatment technologies and potential applications
Distillery spent wash is the unwanted residual liquid waste generated during alcohol production and pollution caused by it is one of the most critical environmental issue. Despite standards imposed on effluent quality, untreated or partially treated effluent very often finds access to watercourses. The distillery wastewater with its characteristic unpleasant odor poses a serious threat to the water quality in several regions around the globe. The ever-increasing generation of distillery spent wash on the one hand and stringent legislative regulations of its disposal on the other has stimulated the need for developing new technologies to process this effluent efficiently and economically. A number of clean up technologies have been put into practice and novel bioremediation approaches for treatment of distillery spent wash are being worked out. Potential microbial (anaerobic and aerobic) as well as physicochemical processes as feasible remediation technologies to combat environmental pollution are being explored. An emerging field in distillery waste management is exploiting its nutritive potential for production of various high value compounds. This review presents an overview of the pollution problems caused by distillery spent wash, the technologies employed globally for its treatment and its alternative use in various biotechnological sectors. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.