Activated Carbon for Winery Wastewater

Activated Carbon for Winery Wastewater

Winery wastewater refers to the wastewater produced during the wine making process, which contains a large amount of organic substances, such as alcohol, protein, amino acids, etc. Activated carbon adsorption treatment of winery wastewater uses activated carbon to remove organic substances in the liquid. It can also remove harmful substances such as ammonia nitrogen, nitrite and nitrate, and improve the quality of the water.

This blog will introduce in detail the characteristics of various types of winery wastewater, as well as the treatment process, and how activated carbon works for winery wastewater.

Winery Wastewater Characteristics 

The alcohol industry includes beer, liquor, wine and other production processes.



The main process of beer production is to crush malt and other raw materials, gelatinize them, filter and boil the wort, and then cool and ferment to obtain the finished product. Beer wastewater mainly comes from process cooling water, equipment washing water and flushing water, including:

Surface washing water, wheat soaking water produced by malt production, spray water used for malt germination cooling, wheat trough water, coagulation washing water, etc.;
Filtered wastewater from maltose saccharification process;
Fermentation washing water and filtered wastewater produced by malt fermentation;

The main characteristics of beer wastewater are large water volume, high organic matter concentration and no toxicity.



The liquor production process mainly involves the crushing of raw materials, followed by adding liquor koji for brewing and fermentation, and finally the finished product is obtained. Wastewater in the liquor production process mainly comes from liquor brewing, including:

flushing water from the equipment factory
Leachate produced by fermentation tank
Wastewater discharged into blind ditch
 The water at the bottom of the pot during the distillation process
Wastewater in wine warehouses where wine is stored

The main characteristics of wastewater in the liquor industry are high organic matter concentration, a large amount of COD, BOD and suspended solids in the wastewater. The water quality is relatively complex and contains many low-carbon alcohols, such as ethanol, J-alcohol and other substances. The PH of liquor wastewater is low and the water is acidic.



The wine production process mainly includes destemming and crushing of grapes, subsequent extraction of grapes, separation of scum and fermentation, and finally clarification to obtain wine. During the wine production process, the main wastewater produced is:

Pressing of wine raw materials
Rinse water discharged from wine fermentation tanks
Part of the filtrate produced when wine is filtered
 Part of the cleaning water used during wine filling

The quality of wine production wastewater is relatively complex. The water contains a large amount of pressed grape juice, grape seeds, grape skin residue, as well as various sugars, alcohols, organic acid chemicals, etc. Like liquor wastewater, the pH of wine wastewater is also low and is acidic. But the difference is that the amount of wine wastewater is affected by the season. When production is high, from September to November every year, the amount of wastewater discharged is higher.

Treatment of winery wastewater

The process flow of winery wastewater treatment generally includes the following steps:

Pretreatment: removing large suspended solids through the grid, and adjust the pH and temperature of the wastewater through the regulating tank.
Physical treatment: further remove suspended solids through sedimentation, air flotation and other processes.
Biological treatment: Use aerobic biological treatment (such as activated sludge method, biofilm method) and anaerobic biological treatment (such as UASB reactor) to degrade organic matter in wastewater.
Post-treatment: further purify wastewater through filtration, disinfection and other processes.
Reuse or discharge: Reuse the treated wastewater in the production process or other non-drinking purposes, or discharge it after meeting the discharge standards.
activated carbon for winery

How does activated carbon work in winery wastewater?

Activated carbon adsorption treatment of winery wastewater is an effective treatment method. The method of treating winery wastewater by activated carbon adsorption mainly includes the following steps:

Activated Carbon for Winery Wastewater 1

Choose the right activated carbon

Activated carbon has good adsorption properties, but you need to choose the right activated carbon to achieve the best treatment effect. Generally, activated carbon with higher specific surface area and pore structure can be chosen.

Adding alkaline substances

Before adsorption treatment, an appropriate amount of alkaline substances, such as sodium hydroxide, needs to be added to cause the organic substances in the winery wastewater to undergo an acid-base neutralization reaction and release the organic substances.

Adsorption treatment

The winery wastewater after adding alkaline substances is adsorbed through an activated carbon adsorber. Usually, the adsorption process needs to be carried out multiple times until the desired degree of purification is achieved.

Water washing treatment

The winery wastewater after adsorption treatment still contains a small amount of organic matter and needs to be washed to remove residual alkaline substances and other impurities.

After activated carbon adsorption treatment, the organic matter in the winery wastewater has been significantly removed, and the removal rate can reach more than 95%. Compared with traditional wastewater treatment methods, activated carbon adsorption treatment of winery wastewater has obvious advantages. First, it can effectively remove organic matter in water and improve water quality; second, it can reduce wastewater discharge and save water resources; finally, it can reduce treatment costs and improve economic benefits.


Winery wastewater treatment is an important issue related to the environment and health. The application of activated carbon technology provides an effective solution to this problem, which can not only improve the purification efficiency of wastewater, but also improve the quality and health standards of alcoholic products.

Zhulin is an enterprise specializing in the research, development and production of activated carbon. We not only provide high-quality activated carbon products, but are also committed to continuous innovation and improvement of technology to provide the best solutions for wastewater treatment in various industries. If you are a winery owner or a practitioner related to wastewater treatment, Zhulin Activated Carbon is a better choice and we will use our professional knowledge and advanced technology to provide reliable support for your wastewater treatment.

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