Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) has been developed in recent years to achieve high quality effluent in regards to carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus compounds. However, most of these results have been achieved on domestic sewage. In treating industrial wastewater, additional challenges are facing the process designer and operator due to the substantially higher concentrations of both carbon and nutrients. This research and demonstration project is addressing the issue for abattoir (slaughterhouse) effluent. The technology used should be as simple as possible yet still achieve a high degree of BNR. The process used in laboratory and pilot scale is a single tank Sequencing Batch Reactor (SBR). The results from the laboratory work have been excellent but have to be confirmed in the pilot plant studies. It was found that a certain degree of anaerobic pretreatment (e.g. in anaerobic ponds) can reduce part of the carbon concentration most efficiently while still leaving sufficient COD required for successful BNR. Despite high influent concentrations of approximately 190 mg L−1 N and 50 mg L−1 total P, good effluent quality of less than 20 mg L−1 N and less than 5 mg L−1 total P has been achieved. Furthermore the operation of the small SBR systems has proved to be simple and reliable.

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