Australian Centre for Water
and Environmental Biotechnology

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Project Dates: 2017 to 2019


Australian slaughterhouses have the potential to generate large volumes of solid waste, originating in a number of processing areas with key sources including paunch, manure, screenings (not rendered), DAF sludge, aerobic wastewater sludge, contaminated cardboard and condemned/dead animals. Current disposal methods for paunch and other solid wastes are largely based on composting, land disposal or landfilling, with highly variable costs – and importantly little ability of the processor to control these costs.

Smouldering is an innovative, sustainable and energy-positive technology designed for complete removal of organics and moisture from waste materials. Smouldering is able to achieve substantial reductions in waste volume (>90%) – with the added potential for targeted recovery of nutrients from the ash product. This project looks at adapting Smouldering for application to paunch and manure wastes.

This project is a multidiscipline collaboration between the School of Civil Engineering and the Advanced Water Management Centre at UQ, and builds on the larger meat processing research program conducted at UQ aimed at efficient waste management and value-adding to waste – particularly the recovery of energy, nutrient and water resources.