Whisky distillery to use new anaerobic water treatment technology

The Glen Ord Whisky Distillery in Scotland is the first company in the UK to use the first ever high-rate anaerobic granular treatment plant for treating wastewater with small chemical oxygen demand (COD) loads.


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Previously, anaerobic water treatment technologies have been expensive custom-made systems, and so have not been economically feasible for companies producing industrial effluent with small COD loads (less than 2000kg/day). However, the new Biobed MP (modular plant), developed by Biothane Systems International is of a standardised design, which also means that they are easily transportable, but still has the flexibility to treat a wide variety of effluent streams.

The Glen Ord facility consists of both a distillery and a maltings, with the wastewater containing sugar resulting from the malting of the barley, as well as pollution from the distillery process and from the cleaning of the stills, Mike Sijbrandij, UK Area Manager for Biothane, explained to edie. Anaerobic treatment lowers the COD, and produces methane as a by-product which can be reused as an energy source.

The technology is based on Biothane’s Expanded Granular Sludge Bed, which is a modified conventional fluidised bed, and is a slow process, which means that sludge production is low, Sijbrandij explained. The Biobed MP consists of 40 foot (12 metre) modules which can have further modules added, depending on the company’s requirements, and can also have an aeration module for final cleaning of the water.

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