Toxicity, Beneficial Aspects and Treatment of Alcohol Industry Wastewater

  • Pankaj Chowdhary
  • Ram Naresh Bharagava


The alcohol industry is one of the most popular among all industries and a key contributor in the world’s economic growth, but unfortunately, these industries are also considered one of the major sources of environmental pollution. Alcohol industry wastewater is highly toxic for the aquatic and the terrestrial eco-system. This wastewater contains a high concentration of biological oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand, total solids, organic matter, potassium and sulphates and high acidic characteristics. Because of the high content of a toxic nature, it causes an adverse impact on soil structure and water bodies in the case of excessive amounts. In aquatic resources, it reduces the penetration power of sunlight causing a reduction in the photosynthetic activity of aquatic plants, dissolved oxygen content in water bodies and in terrestrial regions, and it causes genotoxic and phytotoxic effects on animal and plants respectively. Additionally, this wastewater may be used for the ferti-irrigation after proper dilution. In this chapter, we discuss in detail the positive and negative aspects of alcohol wastewater and miscellaneous treatment technologies for wastewater treatment. The aim of this chapter is also to provide updated information on the alternative uses of alcohol wastewater, such as energy production, ferti-irrigation, and other value-added products.


Alcohol industry Environmental pollution Toxicity Genotoxicity Energy production 



The Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship (Letter No. RGNF 2015-17SC-UTT-20334) awarded to Mr. Pankaj Chowdhary for Ph.D. work from the University Grant Commission (UGC), Government of India (GOI), New Delhi, is duly acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pankaj Chowdhary
    • 1
  • Ram Naresh Bharagava
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory for Bioremediation and Metagenomics Research (LBMR), Department of Environmental Microbiology (DEM)Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (A Central University)LucknowIndia

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