Utilization and biodegradation of starch stillage (distillery wastewater)
Keywords: biodegradation, distillery, ethanol, starch stillage, utilization.
Stillage (distillery wastewater) is the main by-product originating in distilleries, and its volume is approximately 10 times that of ethanol produced. It is not surprising that the utilization of the stillage raises serious problems, and that many attempts have been made all over the world to solve them. In Poland most of the ethanol (about 90%) is produced from starch-based feedstocks, i.e. grains and potatoes. Starch feedstocks are widely used for spirit production also in other European countries, as well as outside Europe. The manuscript provides an overview of global fuel ethanol production and information on methods used for starch-based stillage biodegradation and utilization. The methods presented in this paper have been classified into two major groups. One of these includes the mode of utilizing starch stillage, the other one comprises methods, both aerobic and anaerobic, by which the stillage can be biodegraded.