Potential Viable Products Identified from Characterisation of Agricultural Slaughterhouse Rendering Wastewater
The composition of challenging matrices must be fully understood in order to determine the impact of the matrix and to establish suitable treatment methods. Rendering condensate wastewater is a complex matrix which is understudied. It is produced when the vapour from rendering facilities (heat processing of slaughterhouse waste material) is cooled as a liquid for discharge. This study offers a full physicochemical characterisation of rendering condensate wastewater and its potential for
... tential for valorisation via production of viable by-products. A study of seasonal variation of levels of dissolved oxygen, chemical oxygen demand, total nitrogen and ammonia was carried out on the wastewater. The results show that the wastewater was high strength all year-round, with a chemical oxygen demand of 10,813 ± 427 mg/L and high concentrations of total Kjeldahl nitrogen (1745 ± 90 mg/L), ammonia (887 ± 21 mg/L), crude protein (10,911 ± 563 mg/L), total phosphorous (51 ± 1 mg/L), fat and oil (11,363 ± 934 mg/L), total suspended solids (336 ± 73 mg/L) and total dissolved solids (4397 ± 405 mg/L). This characterisation demonstrates the requirement for adequate treatment of the condensate before releasing it to the environment. While there is a reasonably constant flow rate and dissolved oxygen level throughout the year, higher chemical oxygen demand, total nitrogen and ammonia levels were found in the warmer summer months. From this study, rendering condensate slaughterhouse wastewater is shown to have potential for production of marketable goods. These products may include ammonium sulphate fertilizer, protein supplements for animal feeds and recovery of acetic acid calcium hydroxyapatite, thus enhancing both the financial and environmental sustainability of slaughterhouse operations. This work demonstrates a valuable assessment of a complex wastewater, while taking advantage of on-site access to samples and process data to inform the potential for wastewater reuse.