Abrahim Et Al


Abrahim et al

Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences Vol. 6 (3), pp. 102-109, March 2016.

 ISSN: 2276-7770  

Research Paper

Manuscript Number: 022416043

(DOI: http://doi.org/10.15580/GJAS.2016.3.022416043)


Assessment of the Potential Water Quality effects
Resulting from the Release of Vinasse, from the Bioethanol Demonstration Plant,
into the Surrounding Waterway


Abrahim BN1, Clementson C*, Homenauth O2


National Agricultural
Research and Extension Institute, Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara, Guyana.


commissioned its very own Bioethanol Demonstration Plant in Albion, Berbice in
August, 2013. Unfortunately, the plant releases an effluent (vinasse) that
could be environmentally unsafe if not properly channeled or utilized.

This study entailed an assessment of the effects on water quality due to the release of vinasse into the waterway
surrounding the Albion Bioethanol Demonstration Plant. Water samples were collected at
four locations along the
waterway; at the point of effluent discharge, five metres
downstream, twenty metres and one
hundred metres downstream. These samples were collected at five different time
periods. The first set of samples was collected on February 19, 2015 which was
two weeks before resumption of plant
operations. Samples were also collected February  27, 2015 upon
resumption of operations,
March 26, 2015 one month after, April 24, 2015
two months after operation commenced and May 28,
2015 one week after the end of seasonal operation. The water samples were analyzed for pH, turbidity, electrical
conductivity, total suspended solids, total dissolved solids, chemical oxygen demand, nitrates, orthophosphates
and heavy metals including Magnesium, Aluminum, Iron, Manganese, Copper, Cadmium, Chromium, Cobalt, Nickel, Lead andZinc.

The study indicated that vinasse is acidic in nature
and upon dumping, increases the acidity of the canal. Also, the effluent has a
high chemical oxygen demand, total
suspended solids, total dissolved solids and turbidity which may be the reason
for the water samples having such high concentrations of the above listed. Additionally, these
parameters revealed a general increase
with time and decrease with
distance. Contrary to these, the remaining chemical parameters showed varying
trends with respect to both distance and time. Furthermore, the analyses revealed that  the concentrations of the heavy metals were high even before the plant commenced
operations; this may imply that there 
was leaching of the various metals from the factory into the water
course. Moreover, the presence of dissolved organic matter within the water may
have resulted in chemical reactions with the heavy metals leading to the
formation of aqueouscomplexes.

The concentrations of many of the physical and
chemical parameters tested in the water course indicated that the levels were
above the maximum recommended limits set out by the World Health Organization
and the Food and Agriculture Organization.


Keywords: Albion Bioethanol Demonstration Plant,
Water Quality, Physical Parameters, Chemical 

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