Using Distillery Spent Wash For Bio-composting

Using Distillery Spent Wash For Bio-composting  

By Dr. Yashpal Singh

For other topics related to the Distillery Sector and a review based on more than 350 publications  covering Indian Distillery Industry, Manufacturing Process, Composition of Effluents, Environmental Impacts, Treatment Technologies, Utilization of Spent Wash In Agriculture, Impact On Soil, Crops And Yield, Pre-Sown Land Application, Ferti-Irrigation, Bio Composting, Soil Reclamation, International Practices in The Utilization of Spent Wash in Agriculture, Major Provisions of The Environment, Forest and Pollution Control Laws in India, Environmental Performance Rating, Major Policy Interventions and The Views Of The Honorable NGT On Sustainable Technology Adoption see Singh Yashpal 2020, Distillery Spent Wash and Its Utilization in Agriculture. Publisher – The Wealthy Waste School India. ISBN No. 978-93-5396-249-4. Pages 1 to 360 (Available at Amazon and Kindle Books)

The bio composting system helps distilleries to utilize the sludge materials segregated from the distillery processes, incineration, spent wash and R.O. plant rejects to convert it to valuable bio compost using sugar unit press mud. Sugar press mud is produced at a rate of 7-9% of total weight of sugar cane in carbonation industries and 3-5 % in sulfitation industries.  The falling population of livestock has brought down the availability of Farm Yard manure. Bio-compost is now filling up this gap as an organo-mineral supplement. Bio-compost prepared from distillery spent wash was reported to contain higher Organic Carbon (15.5%), N (2.0%), P (2.5%) and K (3.0%). The pH of the compost was found ideal (7 to 7.5) with a C: N ratio of 15: 1. Application of bio-compost and 50% NPK application was found to have enhanced the available N, P and K status of soil and recorded maximum yields of cane over the yield when 100% NPK was used.   Spent wash-press mud compost has been observed to improve the stability of aggregates and porosity. Composting also assists in the degradation of colored organics in the distillery effluents which also enrich the compost with nutrients specially potassium. In order to provide a balanced nutritional value and enrich it more, the compost could be enriched with the use of rock phosphate, gypsum, yeast sludge, bagasse, sugarcane trash, boiler ash, coir pith and water hyacinth. Both Aerobic and Anaerobic composting techniques have been suggested requiring about 30 days for active reactions and another 30 days for maturing. Spent wash utilization in aerobic composting is more than spent wash consumptions in anaerobic composting. The Central Pollution Control Board has issued directions to distilleries to use press mud and concentrated Spent wash in a ratio of 1:1:6. The earlier protocol had allowed a Press mud to unconcentrated  spent wash ratio of 1:2:5 for a 45 days cycle and 1:3:5 for a 60 days cycle. The Ministry of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers welfare has added specifications for organic fertilizers in 2015 under the Fertilizer control order.

Shortage of filler materials, large land requirements and the distribution network of compost appear to be major problems associated with bio composting. The Central Pollution Control Board has also found that, within some of the distilleries studied by it, the composting process has not been up to the standards with problems of press mud availability, unlined areas and problems of leachate etc. It has been suggested that distilleries, which are facing a shortage of press mud, can use alternative agro by products such as bagasse, sugar cane trash, coconut coir in combination with press mud. A 20:80 ratio of alternative agro products to filter cake has been recommended.

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