AIDA holds Seminar on Bio-ethanol and Effluent Treatment for ZLD

The All-India Distillers’ Association (AIDA) recently held a 2 day Technical Seminar in Hyderabad with the National Sugar Institute (NSI) , Kanpur, as co-organiser, for brainstorming sessions on the production of Ethanol / Bio fuels from current and new feed stocks, improving fermentation and distillation efficiencies, quality control of alcohol and liquor and Effluent Treatment technologies to achieve Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD), as mandated by the CPCB.

The AIDA seminar in Hyderabad attained utmost importance in view of the priority of production of ethanol and bio fuels being extended by the Govt. of India for enhancing production and availability of bio ethanol for blending with petrol / motor fuel.  

The present availability includes production of ethanol from sugarcane molasses and various grains (primarily used for potable purposes).  The availability of molasses at present is almost flat and is not expected to substantially increase in any future distance, thus we are barely able to touch 4-5% of ethanol for blending requirements”, said V.N. Raina, Director General, AIDA. 

There was a need to look for new feed stocks with use of potent enzymes, on priority basis to increase production and availability of ethanol.  “The seminar had various presentations and papers presented by different technology providers, technical experts and industry experts, on various alternatives available to us for producing ethanol from different sources and improved technology with effective use of enzymes”, said Raina. 

The potential feed stocks including grains, cassava, sweet potato, sweet sorghum and beet etc  along with cellulosic and ligno cellulosic materials like wheat stalk / straw, rice husk, , bamboo, agricultural waste etc., along with forestry waste which are  few feed stocks which can be used to meet increasing fuel requirements.

Similarly Effluent Treatment Technologies to achieve Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) either through incineration or bio composting after use of bio methanation, R.O and MEE has now been approved by the CPCB and are now available to the industry as the technology to achieve Zero Spentwash Discharge (ZSD).

The seminar’s opening and introductory remarks were delivered by AIDA’s Director General, followed by the arrival of the Chief Guest Dr. Narendra Mohan, Director, NSI, Kanpur.

Along with Dr. Mohan and V.N. Raina, Sanjay Desai, M.D., Excel Engineers, K.P. Singh, Director (Operation) Radico Khaitan and Dr. H.C. Bhandari, MD, Crest Biotech, honoured the guests and lighted the inaugural Lamp.

On day one, there were a number of presentations. Among other speakers, Sandeep Chichbankar from Excel Engineers & Consultants made a presentation on ‘E-max’ Design Technology for Process Efficiency and Optimum Energy Economy in molasses/grain based ethanol plants.

K.P Singh, Radico Khaitan Ltd, presented a case study of Innovation and Improvement in Radico Khaitan Ltd. Dr. Santosh Kumar, NSI Kanpur gave a talk on Indian Alcohol Industry-Future Challenges. There was also a presentation by Christophe Teste, Leaf Technoloy on Distilleries Profitability Maximisation Through Industrial Performances Optimisation.

On day two, among other speakers, Tushar Patil and Sandeep Chichbankar, Excel Engineers & Consultants, spoke on Latest Technology Adoption for Improvement in Overall Distillery Performance. Pramod Pillai, Praj Industries Ltd, spoke on Sustainable Solutions-Praj’s Advanced Technologies, while Rajeev Gupta, Jindal Stainless Limited, made a presentation on Stainless Steel in Distilleries-Moving Towards Sustainable Solutions.

There were also presentations by Anil Kumar Sharma, Food and Biotech Engineers (I) Pvt. Ltd, on Application of Multiple Effects Evaporator to Achieve ZLD and Dr. H.C. Bhandari, Crest Biotech, on 3RR and ZLD.

Alongside the seminar there was also an exhibition is to enable technology and equipment providers, machinery and appliance manufacturers and suppliers and technical experts to showcase themselves.  

AIDA has long been at the forefront of the ethanol, bio-fuels, discharge and related issues. The Hyderabad seminar comes on the back of its strides in studying and developing solutions for the use of enzymes for quality improvement and higher recoveries through fermentation & distillation including production of ethanol and effluent treatment technologies for Zero Spentwash Discharge (ZSD).

AIDA’s constant endeavour has been to bring out, for the benefit of its members, the latest developments in distillery technologies on production, fermentation, distillation and improvements in liquor quality and most importantly the Effluent Treatment technologies to achieve Zero Spentwash Discharge (ZSD).

Matters of technical feasibility, applicability and its availability in different fields of the distillery industry, that of fermenation, distillation, improvement in recoveries, water conservation, energy conservation, ethanol produciton for blending with petrol and effluent treatment to achieve ZSD and all such subects of importance including policy matters have been thoroughly looked into by the association.

Latest technologies with regard to fermentation including use of enzymes to improve recovery and quality of alcohol and water and energy conservation are a vital subject for the distillery industry today.

The government has now prescribed compulsory ZSD for all the distillers, it is therefore not only important but necessary for distillers to get acquainted with the various technologies, schemes and methods to achieve ZSD, as approved by CPCB.


The subject matter of Effluent Treatment to achieve Zero Spentwash Discharge as prescribed by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) under CREP programme is a burning issue today, particularly under the Government of India’s programme of Cleaning Ganga (priority) as also all the rivers in the country under the “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan”.

The subjects which are of prime focus are fermentation and distillation technologies to improve alcohol recoveries and quality from molasses, in the wake of heavily increased requirement of alcohol in very near future and water – energy conservation in distilleries production

There is no second opinion that improvement in fermentation and distillation technologies is the constant need for the industry to improve recoveries of alcohol from available quality of molasses vis?a?vis the policy of the government to increase percentage of ethanol blending with petrol from the present 5%. It is all the more important for the industry to increase its production as also to widen the field of its sources of raw?materials and feed stocks.

The industry must always endeavour to conserve water and energy usage and ensure recycling of waste water as much as possible for ensuring reducing consumption of water and energy in the production process.

The lowering of the usage of water in production process which ultimately results in lowering quantum of discharge of waste water (effluent) will in turn reduce the effluent treatment load on the unit thereby lowering down the burden of treating the effluents to that extent.

Efficient fermentation is therefore the key to increase production, improving quality and cost reduction.

Regarding Distillery Effluent Treatment Technologies to achieve Zero Spentwash Discharge AIDA believes that no effluent what so ever should be allowed to flow into the rivers or any water body.

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