Tomorrow matters

Julian Soler

JULIAN SOLER, a company specialized in the production of grape juice, was well aware that the effluent resulting from the production of concentrated must is extremely problematic for biological purification.


JULIAN SOLER, a company specializing in grape juice production, was fully aware that the effluent resulting from the production of concentrated must is extremely problematic for biological purification. This is because it tends to develop a large amount of Bulking due to the high concentration of sulfites (toxic compounds) - associated with a high variation in Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) -, which are easily biodegradable but lack nutrients.

For the most part, the organic matter it contains comes from sugars, which makes it easily biodegradable. However, sulfites have properties that inhibit microbial metabolism, so it is essential to oxidize sulfites to sulfates in the effluent before they enter the biological reactor. Therefore, the process must be strictly controlled.

Before the new system provided by Bondalti Water |Aema to solve the JULIAN SOLER company problem, oxidation was carried out by adding hydrogen peroxide (oxidizing agent). However, the high consumption of reagents penalized, to a large extent, the operating costs associated with this WWTP.

Proposed Solution

Bondalti Water |Aema implemented a solution that complemented the purification system with an innovative sulfite oxidation system by aeration in the presence of a catalyst, for which several catalysts were selected and investigated, and the most effective one was chosen. This oxidation method uses oxygen as an oxidant and also a catalyst to accelerate the reaction. The cost of adding the catalyst is lower than that of providing hydrogen peroxide directly. The addition of hydrogen peroxide was maintained as an improvement system or to counteract overloads. In this way, Bondalti Water |Aema was able to:

  • Reduce operational water treatment costs;
  • Improve installation design through advanced instrumentation and efficient programming for process control (Scada);
  • Optimize process control parameters to stabilize and automate the purification process with lower operating costs than usual.


The experimentation carried out at JULIAN SOLER included laboratory tests and factory tests.

First, oxidation tests were carried out in the laboratory, with aeration and various catalysts, and manganese was selected, which was tested for non-toxicity in the biological system. For this purpose, an SBR was simulated (Sequencing Batch Reactor) in the laboratory and water was introduced daily as a catalyst and a purified sample was taken (according to the operation of an SBR). It was thus demonstrated that the catalyst is not toxic.

Since it was observed that manganese is not toxic at the biological level, the catalyst was tested directly at the factory. The results were good and it was found that the catalyst in question is not toxic to the biological system.

In the final part of the work, it was proven at the factory that the installation works well with the maximum load (during the harvest season).

The plant was validated for 30 consecutive days of the campaign, for which the engineers at Bondalti Water |Aema maintained the instructions given during the experimentation regarding sulfite oxidation and fulfilled the ETAR output parameters required by the administration.

JULIAN SOLER's success metric was that savings performance reached 80%, and Bondalti Water |Aema managed to stay within that margin in the overall validation calculation, achieving savings between 81 and 83%.

Bondalti Water |Aema was able to meet the savings and improvement requirements of the WWTP expected by JULIAN SOLER, by solving its problems and providing it with an installation with the necessary capacities to comply with the ETAR output parameters required by the administration.

Wastewater production is the most relevant environmental aspect of wineries and distilleries. This is due, on the one hand, to the high volumes generated and the associated polluting load and, on the other, to the seasonality of its effluents depending on the fruit (grape) harvest.

Water treatment

Julian Soler

Activity Area
Concentrated wort production

How to avoid bulking due to the high concentration of sulfites