Vinasse is a byproduct of the sugar industry.[1] Sugarcane or Sugar beet is processed to produce crystalline sugar, pulp and molasses. The latter are further processed by fermentation to ethanol, ascorbic acid or other products. After the removal of the desired product (alcohol, ascorbic acid, etc.) the remaining material is called vinasse. Vinasse is sold after a partial dehydration and usually has a viscosity comparable to molasses. Commercially offered vinasse comes either from sugar cane and is called cane-vinasse or from sugar beet and is called beet-vinasse.

In the process of distillation of the alcohol and as a result of the heating in the distillation process, in the pulp of the beet reactions of condensation and predominantly molecular ruptures take place. This causes a high fulvic acid concentration in this byproduct. One use of vinasse is in thermophilic digesters. In Brazil thermophilic digester is a source of biogas using pure and hot vinasse as the source of production of methane. In the past, vinasse was a problem in production of ethanol, but vinasse is also a good fertilizer (at least for some time) and a source of methane that can be used to generate heat or electricity. Moreover, other uses of vinasse invonving also the formulation of nutritive solutions for hydroponics,[2] formulation of culture media for plant tissue culture [3] and culture media for algal growth.[4]

Vinasse composition[2]

Ion (mg.L-1) Pure Vinasse Treated Vinasse
Cl- 59.4 37.1
SO4-2 1680 1458
Na+ 8.6 7.0
K+ 1620 1760
Ca+2 3160 1642
Mg+2 162.4 101.8
PO4-3 560 380
NO3-2 - 0.66
NH4+ - 47.65
Fe+2 44.9 27.92
Mn+2 4.9 2.88
Zn+2 1.2 0.75

Treated vinasse is originated by a decantation and filtration process.[2]

(KCV1 and KCV5) Vinasse used to formulate culture media for the in vitro elongation and rooting of Oncidium leucochilum (orchid), (KC) medium Knudson C used as control. In order to formulate the vinasse media was used a dilution of 2.5% vinasse. These culture media are free of plant growth regulators (Silva et al., 2014).

See also


  1. Hidalgo, K. (2009) Vinasse in feed: Good for animal and environment. Feed Tech, 13(5):18-20.
  2. 1 2 3 Santos, J. D. et al (2013) Development of a vinasse nutritive solutions for hydroponics. Journal of Environmental Management 114: 8-12.
  3. Silva, A. L. L. et al (2014) Development of a vinasse culture medium for plant tissue culture. Pakistan Journal of Botany 46 (6): 2195-2202.
  4. Gollo, A. L. et al (2016) Developing a plant culture medium composed of vinasse originating from Haematococcus pluvialis culture. Pakistan Journal of Botany 48 (1): 295-303.

Further reading

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