What is the Efficient Wastewater Treatment in Meat industry?
The meat industry includes slaughterhouses and cutting plants, as well as processing plants for meat products (fresh, hardened, or cooked). However, these are usually divided into slaughterhouses and processing plants. Therefore, the former produces carcasses, semi-carcasses and meat fillets for consumption, while the meat processing industry produces processed meat products (seasoned and hardened meat, ham, sausages, etc.).
From an ecological point of view, the amount of wastewater varies greatly depending on the type of plant. Therefore, slaughterhouses/cutting plants produce large amounts of wastewater with a high organic matter load, while production plants produce less and tend to remain more constant over time.
Most of the processes perform sequentially in the slaughterhouse as described below-
Step wise processes performed in a slaughterhouse:
1. Live Animal arrivals: Animals arrive at the facility and are placed in the stables. The wastewater produced when cleaning these zones includes urine, faeces, hair and disinfectants.
2. Slaughter: Animals are externally washed with a pressurized water jet and then slaughtered. This process also produces wastewater.
3. Bleeding: Animals bleed and die. Blood usually drains when the sewage is cleaned. From this point on, the further process is different between buffaloes and pigs.
4. Broth: Removes impurities from the skin by immersing the carcass in boiling water. This process also produces wastewater.
5. Singe: Use a burner to remove any hair left after the burn.
6. Washing: The carcasses are washed with pressurized water to remove any residue after burning. This process also produces wastewater. After bleeding, the bovine undergoes the following process-
7. Peel: Removing the skin, legs and horns from the carcass. Next, beef and pork carcasses go through a general sequence of processes.
8. Conditioning: Removing debris such as internal organs that yield by-products of animal feed. This process also produces wastewater. The carcass is cooled to room temperature, slaughtered and transferred to a finished product chamber ready for sale.
As you can see, cleaning almost every process and system produces wastewater. The final production is high, and it is estimated that living animals need about 5 litres of water per kilogram of body weight.
The resulting drainage generally includes sludge, meat scraps, blood, hair, internal organs and surface fats. That is, water contains organics, suspended solids, fats and oils, nitrogen (ammonia and organics), phosphates, detergents and disinfectants. In addition, wastewater pollution fluctuates significantly from day to day and even from hour to hour.
Wastewater Treatment in the Meat Industry-Drainage Parameters
The most recommended method for proper treatment of this wastewater is water pre-treatment, which removes oils and fats and removes large and small solids while controlling flow and load fluctuations, followed by biological decay of organic matter. An approach that involves processing removes nitrogen. These steps are described in detail below.
Pre-treatment: The first process is to remove larger and smaller solids through 10mm and 4mm pore size sieves, respectively. Due to the high demand for oxygen, fats and oils must also be separated from water prior to biological treatment. Floatation is an effective way to achieve this. Finally, due to flow and pollution fluctuations during the production cycle, it is advisable to include a flow homogenization step and a lamination step to attenuate the peaks that occur over time.
This can be done using several very different techniques, but the cheapest ones are:
Low-load activated sludge: It is possible to remove dissolved organic matter and achieve denitrification using a low-load biomass suspension process in which the diffuser grid of the aeration system does not occupy the entire bioreactor. Depending on the placement of the air distributor, aerobic and anaerobic regions will appear in the reactor, alternating between which nitrogen can be removed.
SBR: Sequential batch process can be used to remove both organic matter and nutrients. In SBR, all processes run in the same reactor, but one after another. To be able to work discontinuously, we need a tank that can store the wastewater that flows into the treatment plant.
Anaerobic process: An oxygen-free i.e. anaerobic treatment removes both organic matter and nitrogen from wastewater. As a result of the series of conversions that take place during the process, some of the carbon in the wastewater is converted to biogas, a recyclable mixture of carbon dioxide and methane. The above three biological treatments are efficient and robust, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. However, keep in mind that using anaerobic bio treatment options reduces energy consumption and produces biogas at the same time, resulting in lower operating costs.
In summary, meat processing plants produce large amounts of wastewater containing high levels of organic pollutants (dissolution and suspension) in addition to nitrogen, phosphorus, oils and pathogens.
Netsol’s most recommended treatment system is based on the design of a complete system that includes wastewater pre-treatment to remove large and small solids, fats and oils, and biological treatment to remove organic load and nutrients from the wastewater.
If the biological treatment is anaerobic, Netsol can make a biogas plant which can be used to generate electrical energy and reduce the overall consumption of the plants.
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