Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS


AGROIWATECH Sintesi della relazione

Project ID: ICA2-CT-2002-10010
Finanziato nell'ambito di: FP5-INCO 2
Paese: Netherlands

Guidelines 1) agro-industry wastewater characteristics affecting anaerobic treatment and 2) on-line (semi)-continuous measuring techniques for agro-industry wastewaters

In the agro-industry a large number of unit processes generate wastewater, from single processes or after mixing streams from several different processes. In addition, these wastewaters vary strongly in composition and concentration of pollutants, not only between different regions and agro-industries, but also within individual industries. For the realization of a cost-effective and sustainable management of these wastewaters reliable treatment techniques and safe re-use strategies need to be implemented, despite all the variations occurring in the wastewaters. To achieve this goal it is imperative that adequate measurement techniques are established, in order to characterize the wastewater composition and concentration. On the basis of this characterization the best available treatment technique can be determined. For this purpose on-line (semi-) continuous measurements are preferred because they allow efficient monitoring and optimal (automatic) control of the treatment process.

This work resulted in deliverable consisting of two parts:
- A review report on characteristics affecting anaerobic treatment and
- A review report on-line (semi)-continuous measuring techniques for agro-industry wastewaters.

Generally, agro-industrial wastewaters represent high concentrations of COD with high fractions of biodegradable material, making anaerobic treatment technology the pertinent approach to reduce the organic load and recover valuable resources.

However, as anaerobic treatment technologies are vulnerable to large influent variations and certain harmful components that may be present in argo-industrial effluents, special care must be taken when these technologies are applied. For the optimal operation of anaerobic wastewater treatment plants a number of measures exist to deal with these factors if wastewater characteristics can be measured on-line.

Candidates for on-line measurements are the parameters that are reported most frequently in literature on agro-industrial wastewater: COD, pH, Ntot, SS and BOD5, although rarely reported parameters that may have a large effect on the process, such as alkalinity, deserve more attention as an on-line parameter. Measuring principles for wastewater characteristics rely on a limited number of physical, chemical or biological techniques, or combinations of these.

The most important include: chromatography, electrochemistry, spectrometry and titrimetry. Some wastewater parameters can be assessed by several of these measuring principles. Several data processing methods exist to cope with the vast amount of data that is generated when several in-line instruments are continuously in operation.
Both parts of report constitute a comprehensive and detailed manual of practice to be used within and outside the consortium.


Henri SPANJERS, (Senior researcher)
Tel.: +31-31-7482023
Fax: +31-31-7482108