An integrated anaerobic digestion and UV photocatalytic treatment of distillery wastewater

Seth Apollo, Maurice S. Onyango, Aoyi Ochieng

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34 Citations (Scopus)


Anaerobic up-flow fixed bed reactor and annular photocatalytic reactor were used to study the efficiency of integrated anaerobic digestion (AD) and ultraviolet (UV) photodegradation of real distillery effluent and raw molasses wastewater (MWW). It was found that UV photodegradation as a stand-alone technique achieved colour removal of 54% and 69% for the distillery and MWW, respectively, with a COD reduction of <20% and a negligible BOD reduction. On the other hand, AD as a single treatment technique was found to be effective in COD and BOD reduction with efficiencies of above 75% and 85%, respectively, for both wastewater samples. However, the AD achieved low colour removal efficiency, with an increase in colour intensity of 13% recorded when treating MWW while a colour removal of 51% was achieved for the distillery effluent. The application of UV photodegradation as a pre-treatment method to the AD process reduced the COD removal and biogas production efficiency. However, an integration in which UV photodegradation was employed as a post-treatment to the AD process achieved high COD removal of above 85% for both wastewater samples, and colour removal of 88% for the distillery effluent. Thus, photodegradation can be employed as a post-treatment technique to an AD system treating distillery effluent for complete removal of the biorecalcitrant and colour imparting compounds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-442
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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