Australian Centre for Water
and Environmental Biotechnology

Project Dates: 2012 to 2017


Red meat slaughterhouses can generate large volumes of wastewater rich in both organic contaminants and nutrients and can therefore be strong candidates for treatment processes aimed at recovery of energy and/or nutrient resources. The focus of this project is development, optimization and integration of i) anaerobic membrane bioreactors (AnMBRs) as a high rate in-vessel anaerobic technology for recovery of energy from slaughterhouse wastes, and ii) struvite crystallization for low cost recovery of phosphorous (and nitrogen) from slaughterhouse wastes. This project builds on previous research and investment by AMPC and leverages significant investment and expertise from other Australian industries.

This project has now successfully operated a pilot-scale process for integrated energy and nutrient recovery onsite at Australian slaughterhouse’s for more than 2 years. The process has been treating combined wastewater and has consistently removed over 97% of organic contaminants with complete conversion to methane rich biogas.