After successful bench-scale tests with an innovative anaerobic SBR (sequencing batch reactor) technology (AnSBR) for complex wastewater streams, the project partners will start a pilot test with wastewater from a slaughterhouse.
While wastewater from slaughterhouses is well biodegradable and full of organic compounds, direct treatment of this with conventional anaerobic systems is challenging. This is due to the high concentrations of solids and colloidal compounds (such as blood, proteins, fat and cellulose) that results in biomass washout. For this reason, conventional anaerobic treatment of wastewater from slaughterhouses must always be preceded by a pre-treatment step, which represents considerable operational costs and loss of biogas production (if pre-treatment waste sludge is not further degraded anaerobically).
This innovative AnSBR technology, marketed under the name SparthaneTM by Biothane, is capable of treating the heavily contaminated wastewater from a slaughterhouse anaerobically in one step. In practice, this offers many advantages such as a cost-effective treatment, no pre-treatment sludge, reduced operational complexity and a high performance level where a large percentage of the organic pollutants are converted to biogas.
Good results on bench-scale
Bench-scale tests carried out by and at Biothane with wastewater from a slaughterhouse have now confirmed that the technology has a high tolerance for fats and suspended matter in the untreated wastewater and gives a good performance.
Seeding the system with biomass from a petrochemical plant, biomass able to degrade the slaughterhouse WW was successfully developed and enriched. It was possible to reach loading rates up to 4 grams of COD per liter per day with stable performance, achieving total COD and soluble COD removal efficiencies above 80%.
Pilot reactor as next step
The next step in the project is to demonstrate a stable and robust operation in a pilot reactor with a capacity of 1.000 L. If the pilot test is successfully carried out, it offers the food sector a prospect of an effective and cheaper solution for treating complex wastewater streams.