Optimization of Coagulation/Flocculation Treatment of Brewery Wastewater Employing Organic Flocculant Based of Vegetable Tannin

  • Alcides Tonhato JuniorEmail author
  • Salah Din Mahmud Hasan
  • Nyamien Yahaut Sebastien


The brewing industry is an important sector in the world economy, and its production process generates a large amount of wastewater. It is essential the proper treatment of this wastewater and a significant amount of biomass may be recovered by coagulation/flocculation process. When using vegetable tannin as an organic flocculant, biomass can be used in the preparation of organic fertilizer, unlike what would occur if a metal base flocculant was used, some of which are considered to be toxic. This work presents a study on the use of vegetable tannin as flocculant agent (Tanfloc SL) for the treatment of brewery wastewater, which also contains microalgae originated from an aerated pond of a local brewery industry. Experiments of coagulation/flocculation and sedimentation were carried out using jar test equipment. A sequential 22 factorial design and two-factor Doehlert design were used to determine the optimum levels of pH and tannin concentration for turbidity and apparent color removals from the wastewater. The higher efficiency results in the biomass separation were obtained by employing 0.23 mL L−1 of vegetable tannin at pH = 4.9, resulting in the substantial removal of approximately 99% of turbidity and apparent color. The removals of biomass and nutrient components were also evaluated: N-NH4+ (80.8%), N-NO2- (83.6%), N-NO3 (56.9%), total phosphorus (82.3%), orthophosphate (76.2%), COD (96.5%), BOD (69.4%), and total solids (40.8%). The Tanfloc SL showed to be efficient in flocculation of the brewery effluent, allowing the reuse of water in industry and the recovered biomass material containing nutrients in agriculture.


Microalgae Nutrient recovery Biomass reuse Doehlert design 



apparent color


biochemical oxygen demand


chemical oxygen demand


represents the dry biomass


fast mixing speed


rapid mixing time


slow mixing speed


slow mixing time




total suspended solids


total suspended solids for the wastewater contain microalgae


total suspended solids post flocculation process


tannin concentration


generation wastewater with microalgae


nephelometric turbidity unit



normalized variables




number of experiments


coefficient of determination of the regression model


Funding Information

This work was financially supported by CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior—Brasil), Financing code 001.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alcides Tonhato Junior
    • 1
    Email author
  • Salah Din Mahmud Hasan
    • 1
  • Nyamien Yahaut Sebastien
    • 1
  1. 1.Chemical Engineering DepartmentState University of West of Paraná – UnioesteToledoBrazil

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