Effective Wastewater Treatment in Meat Processing industries

Effective Wastewater Treatment in Meat Processing industries
With the rise in the economy, meat consumption in India has grown. Nearly 70% of people in India prefer nonvegetarian food. In 2020, the population of India had consumed over six million tonnes of meat. According to the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, India accounts for 2.18 per cent of global meat production. It ranks sixth after China, The United States of America, Brazil, Russia and Germany. (Data Source: indiatoday.in) 

Wastewater production in the Meat Processing Industries

Meat is highly susceptible to spoilage and biochemical changes while undergoing the process of slaughter, processing and preservation. It can also be frequently implicated in food borne diseases. For hygienic meat production, the meat processing industries have slaughterhouses where dressing or carcasses and other processes are carried out in a sterile environment. A large amount of slaughterhouse wastewater (SWW) is produced because of the slaughtering processes and cleaning of facilities.  

This wastewater contains a high load of organic matter, pathogens and detergents used for cleaning purposes. When discarded directly into the waterbody, because of low dissolved oxygen levels, this wastewater can cause pollution and can even put human and aquatic life at risk!

Understanding Characteristics of wastewater produced at Meat Processing Industries

Meat processing effluents contain a complex composition of fats, high organic content, protein, fibre, pathogens and remains of detergents. Because of the high organic load, the BOD levels usually range from 150-8500 mg/L, and the COD levels range between 500-16000 mg/L. 

With the diverse factors of the wastewater, it is suggested to classify and minimise the wastewater production at its source. However, there are ways to treat the wastewater using different methods mentioned below. 

Different methods to treat wastewater

The wastewater generated undergoes primary, secondary, and tertiary treatment methods like common sewage treatment plants. Before undergoing the primary treatment method, a pre-primary treatment method is carried out that removes solids from the effluent. 

Preliminary Treatment

In the preliminary treatment, large solid particles are eliminated from SWW effluent. At this stage, 30% of BOD is eliminated. The most common unit operations include screening, sieves and strainers. The effluent later undergoes homogenisation and equalisation. The large particles are skimmed from the effluent when settling down or floating. The effluent then moves to the next stage of treatment, i.e. the primary treatment. 

Primary Treatment

The effluent undergoes a series of processes to eliminate FOG from the wastewater in the primary treatment. The physicochemical methods such as coagulation-flocculation and sedimentation are used to eliminate the fats and grease present. 

Some treatment plants undergo Dissolved Air Floatation technology, where fats, grease and other light solids are moved to the surface, creating a sludge blanket. This is then skimmed off with the help of scum scraping. However, some common disadvantages of using the DAF treatment method are occasional malfunctioning, poor TSS elimination, and moderate nutrient removal. 

Biological Treatment

Preliminary and primary treatments do not treat the wastewater completely. Biological treatment, i.e. secondary treatment, eliminates the soluble organic compounds from the primary treatment. Biological processes include lagoons with anaerobic, aerobic bioreactors that remove toxic pollutants from water and match the PCB norms. 

The three most efficient technology used under Biological Treatment are:

1. Low load Activated Sludge

This technology helps in eliminating the dissolved organic matter and denitrification in the effluents. Nitrogen is removed from the SWW using this technology. 

2. SBR (Sequential Batch Reactor)

In this process, the wastewater enters the reactor sequentially and gets treated. The effluent eliminates the organic matter and other nutrients, and the treated wastewater is later used for different purposes. 

3. Anaerobic Process

Organic matter and nitrogen can be removed from the effluent in this process. During the transformation, some of the carbon elements in the wastewater turn into biogas, carbon dioxide and methane.

The anaerobic biological process is highly efficient and robust. Compared to other techniques, it has lower operating costs due to its lower energy consumption and it comes with an added benefit of generating biogas. One can produce electricity from the biogas generated, which would reduce the overall consumption of the installation. 

While undergoing treatment, the treatment plant often malfunctions and the desired results are not obtained. This can be resolved with our revolutionary technology Cleanmaxx ANB. It is highly diverse and has facultative anaerobic strains that strengthen and stabilise the treatment plant.

Our solution is highly effective over a wide range of temperature and pH ranges and can degrade complex organics, xenobiotics & recalcitrant natural compounds. Cleanmaxx ANB is highly recommended in anaerobic setups like UASB, Anaerobic lagoon, downflow fixed bed reactor, biogas digester, fixed-film anaerobic process, and expanded and fluidised bed process. 

Most of the effluents released from the meat processing units undergo anaerobic treatment. Our natural solution can help overcome problems and keep the overall functionality of the plant smooth!

Is your treatment plant facing any trouble with its functionality? Reach out to the experts for a cost-effective and natural solution!

Post by Karen Sam

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