Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - AD-WINE (High performance Anaerobic digesters for the treatment of medium size wineries’ effluents)

AD-WINE is a multidisciplinary consortium comprised of scientifics from both commercial sector (represented by an innovative Spanish SME-AEMA S.L.U.) and non-commercial one (University of Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom; Gottfried Whilem Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany; Consrzio di Ricerche Applicate alla Biotecnologia, Italy; Institut Franςais de la Vigne et du vin, France) who joined together to develop an anaerobic treatment system, using high performance digesters adapted to the treatment of the medium size wineries’ effluents.

The traditional systems involving biological treatment of wineries wastewater are based on aerobic treatment using activated sludge, which implies high energy costs from the use of blowers and operation costs from the management of the excess of sludge. Anaerobic treatments have been usually reserved for the treatment of wastewater from other companies such as beer or paper industries.

AD-WINE has succeeded in developing a new generation of anaerobic digesters adapted to the treatment of wineries wastewaters. The original device has shown both a high wastewater treatment efficiency and operational costs reduction by energy generation and a significant reduction of sludge production. Its performance has been high enough to declare the reactor as high-performance anaerobic digester. Furthermore, a mathematical model of the process has been developed and implemented in a new control system that could ensure the healthy reactor operation. Moreover a novel anaerobic digestion (AD) design toolkit has been developed. This tool allows obtaining reactor dimensions and the necessary plant equipment with respect to the designed operation parameters.

The work was separated into five interlocking Work Packages

Initially (WP200) the characteristics of the winery wastewater were obtained, including its flow and physiochemical characterization. Following this analysis, a good practices manual about sewage water management in wineries was produced. A bibliographical review was performed for all the existing sources on anaerobic digestion and its use for industrial water and in particular for wineries’ effluents, and finally the anaerobic biodegradability of the wastewater was evaluated.

In the next step (WP 300) the requirements for the reactor configuration were considered and the selection of the best technology was performed. It was required to provide a thorough description of what a medium size winery is, describe its effluents, and thereafter to perform the technical and economic viability study for this particular case.

During the WP400 a prototype for the treatment of medium sized wineries’ wastewater was created. This included the design, the testing and the validation of the prototype. The behavior of the prototype was checked with winery wastewater in terms of operational conditions, quality of the effluent, energy produced (as gas composition) and sludge characteristics. In this sense, COD removal efficiency reached 96% where sCOD concentration was rendered able to be discharged to a water body according to UWWTD (91/271/EEC) and gas quality (methane content) for pilot plant trials exceeded 80% revealing the relatively high quality product. Moreover, normal work range of the reactor in terms of OLR (15-30 kgCOD/(m3.d)) corresponds with high-performance anaerobic digester

Regarding the control workpackage (WP500) modelling and process control tools have been developed as a combination of chemometrics, black box modelling and PID control. The modelling has carried out on Matlab from processed data from WP400. These have been subjected to sensitivity tests and analyzed via Partial Least Squares (PLS) regression. The process control developed has approached by combining both soft sensoring and advanced control method (PID). Relationship amongst inputs/outputs (soft sensor) and PID control the anaerobic process to maintain it at normal operation range.

Within WP600 a mathematical balance model based on fluid dynamics, mass transfer and reaction kinetics was developed to calculate and to dimension the operation parameters of the innovative anaerobic reactor for the treatment of waste water from medium sized wineries. Furthermore a nomogram was elaborated to dimension the plant size with respect to the wastewater amount and seasonal operation. Finally a MS-Excel based database was created to select the required marketable plant equipment. A guide helps to select the aggregates corresponding to its required size, operation, automatization, safety, material etc..

On the other hand, many dissemination and training activities have been carried out. More than several meetings have been done with the participation of all the partners to facilitate the sharing of knowledge within the Consortium and with key projects in the field and major stakeholders, to raise public awareness of the developed technologies and solutions among the scientific community and the general public. It also includes a multi-dimensional dissemination approach, in order to disseminate project concepts, and the webpage has been used to disseminate results. Furthermore, results of the project have been presented in several congresses and workshops and a patent of the new design has been developed. Additionally more than 80 training activities and courses were done by the researchers involved in the project.

All results obtained fulfill successfully the initial objectives planned of the project and they offer economic, environment and social advantages.
• Economically, new design of the anaerobic digester will benefit to AEMA. This technology could reduce both the high investment costs of an anaerobic treatment implementation in an medium size winery (around 40 %) and the operation cost in comparison with the traditional aerobic treatments installed (around 60%). In practical application, this own technology will allow offering a specific solution for the wine sector, improve the AEMA´s position into the anaerobic treatment sector and be more competitive in the wastewater treatment industry.
• Environmentally, the use of this technology with respect to the current treatments will reduce drastically the CO2 emissions and the global warming, will produce renewable energy and will reduce the sludge production.
• Regarding the social impact, the AD-WINE project has allowed for training more than 15 researchers in several research areas (anaerobic technology, modelling, process control) and developing new synergies between commercial (SME) and non-commercial (Universities and Research Centers) institutions. Moreover, The AD-WINE project has a positive gender impact due to the consortium has been composed of 5 scientific partners coordinated by a female coordinator and 43% of female researchers.

For further information about the project and its results, please send an e-mail to:
Dr. Estíbaliz Huete (Project Coordinator).
Agua, Energía y Medio Ambiente Servicios Integrales SLU
or check the AD-WINE webpage:

Related information


Estibaliz Huete, (Head of the RDI Department)
Tel.: +34941181818
Record Number: 182374 / Last updated on: 2016-05-13
Information source: SESAM
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