Selected experiences in Chile for the application of UASB technology for vinasse treatment

R. Chamy, C. Pizarro, E. Vivanco, M. C. Schiappacasse, D. Jeison, P. Poirrier, G. Ruiz-Filippi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

10 Scopus citations


One of the research areas is the agricultural use of treated wastewaters, because it represents a unique opportunity to solve the problem of water supply for irrigation and at the same time the disposal of treated water. Anaerobic digestion appears as an interesting alternative, since anaerobically treated wastewaters can be used for irrigation purposes. These considerations are applied to the Chilean pisco industry (a traditional alcoholic drink, prepared by distillation of wine made mainly from Muscatel grapes), where high concentrated wastewaters are produced: vinasses originate as a residue from the distillation operation. Two laboratory reactors fed with wine vinasses, a UASB and an EGSB, were used in order to study the anaerobic treatability of the wastewater. Then, a pilot reactor was built (60 m3 UASB digester) and treated water was used to irrigate eucalyptus trees. Finally a 300 m3 reactor, including biogas treatment for its reuse, was developed. Results showed, both at laboratory and full scale, that anaerobic treatment is suitable for pisco's wastewaters, and also that the nutrient content of treated water can be beneficial for plant growth, reducing the need for fertilizers. Another kind of investigation was carried out in order to study the stability of anaerobic granules and how it can be recovered. UASB and EGSB were fed with low, medium and high load wastewaters, in order to evaluate possible fluctuations in the productive process. From these results, it was possible to propose and to apply recovery techniques to the digesters when they are destabilized.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable Viticulture
Subtitle of host publicationVinery Wastes and Ecological Impact Management
EditorsRolando Chamy, Gonzalo Ruiz, Marta Carballa
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2007

Publication series

NameWater Science and Technology
ISSN (Print)0273-1223


  • EGSB
  • Granule
  • Pisco
  • Stability
  • UASB
  • Vinasses


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