Using biological treatment, more than 90% efficiency can be achieved in pollutant removal from slaughterhouse wastes. Commonly used systems include lagoons (aerobic and anaerobic), conventional activated sludge, extended aeration, oxidation ditches, sequencing batch reactors, and anaerobic digestion. A series of anaerobic biological processes followed by aerobic biological processes is often useful for sequential reduction of the BOD load in the most economic manner, although either process can be used separately. As noted above, slaughterhouse wastewaters vary in strength considerably depending on a number of factors. For a given type of animal, however, this variation is primarily due to the quantity of water used within the abattoir, as the pollution load (as expressed as BOD) is relatively constant on the basis of live weight slaughtered. Hence the more economical an abattoir is in its use of water, the stronger the effluent will be, and vice versa. The strength of the organic degradable matter in the wastewater is an important consideration in the choice of treatment system. To remove BOD using an aerobic biological process involves supplying oxygen (usually as a component in air) in proportion to the quantity of BOD that has to be removed, an increasingly expensive process as
the BOD increases. On the other hand an anaerobic process does not require oxygen in order to remove BOD as the biodegradable fraction is fermented and then transformed to gaseous endproducts in the form of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4).
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