Ethanol distiller, Ethanol Company Limited (EthCo) has embarked on a K5.2 billion project to manage liquid waste from its manufacturing process which will see the company producing fertilizer and electricity from the process.
EthCo Chief Executive Officer Lusubilo Chakaniza said in an interview yesterday that the ethanol manufacturing process produces a liquid waste (effluent) called vinasse at a rate of 12 litres for every litre of ethanol produced meaning at full capacity, 218 million litres of effluent would be produced in a year.
“If not properly managed, this effluent can be detrimental to both vegetation and aquatic life. Currently, the vinasse is stored in evaporation ponds for drying and the dried sludge is used by farmers around Dwangwa for crop nutrition and soil conditioning because it consists of organic material rich in Potassium and also contains Nitrogen, Phosphorous, zinc and Sulphur. However, the drying process is long and takes close to a year.”