Background and design:

Wine industry wastewater is mainly produced when cleaning the equipment and machinery that comes into contact with the raw materials or with the products used in the different processes (tanks, pumps, tubes, filters, etc.), washing the fermentation tanks, barrels and bottles and the accidental spillage that may have occurred. Winery wastewater is considered hard to treat since it encases high concentration of organic matter, low pH due to the presence of organic acids (acetic, tartaric, propionic) and antimicrobial agents such as phenols/polyphenols.  To allow a stable digestive biological process, dual bio-treatment stages were designed, using the benefit of the SBP technology to digest hard biodegradation compounds and antimicrobial agents such as phenols. Since the treatment biomass was occluded within the SBP capsules, we were able to operate the first bioreactor in a continuous treatment mode. Actually, the SBP bio-treatment is aimed to provide some protection to the activated sludge stage, by neutralizing most of the antimicrobial agents and hard bio-degradable compounds.

A small treatment facility with a daily treatment capacity of approximate 250 L (89 m3/year) was established in Melbourne, Australia. Raw winery wastewater was delivered from a central winery wastewater reservoir (approximate 3-4 months old- after long term sedimentation) to our treatment facility.


Treatment Concept

Figure number 1. Treatment concept design


Treatment facility establishment:

Figure 2. Project Process Flow Diagram.



The treatment process offers a dual stage biodegradation treatment: Stage one is a continuous treatment process where the digestive biomass is mainly provided by the SBP capsules. Those capsules encase a selective bacterial culture (Pseudomonas putida strains), allowing the biodegrading of the phenols compounds. Phenols are considered anti-microbial agents and induce an inhibitory effect upon the biological process. Therefore, the first treatment stage is aimed to reduce phenols concentration in order to protect and induce a rapid biodegradation rate of the organic matter (COD) during the second stage of the process. The second treatment stage is the SBR treatment model, forming a natural activated sludge aimed to reduce the general organic matter (COD). The second bioreactor chamber is has three operational stages: aerobic digestive stage, sedimentation stage (phase separation) and partial effluent drainage. The second bioreactor enjoy of a continuous inflow from the first bioreactor.

The hydraulic retention time was 48h in each digestive stage.
Waste sludge (WAS) formation: negligible
Sludge age: Long
Study period: 3.5 months

Major operational activities

The main operational activities of this treatment model are:

  1. Filling up the chemicals reservoirs (Coagulants & pH ).
  2. Adding  SBP capsules once a month into bioreactor number 1.
  3. Cleaning the SBP capsules cage in frequency of once a month.
  4. Adding some nutrients (N, P, Fe) to bioreactors.

Figure number 3. Wastewater treatment facility. The treatment facility includes a pre-treatment of coagulation and sendimentation (TSS reduction), while the biological treatment was a dual stage: 1st Bioreactor aimed to reduce hard biodegradable compunds, while the 2st Bioreactor was aimed to provide the major digestive stage and a phase seperation.



Average parameters of water analysis.























Nitrogen and Phosphorus were added for biomass assimilation.

  1. Raw wastewater: COD value range of 3900-4600 mg/L.
  2. Total COD reduction was approximate 85% up to 91%.