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Bioenergy and bioproducts in the Australian red meat processing industry: A case study

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  2018 ASABE Annual International Meeting  1800980.(doi:10.13031/aim.201800980)
Authors:   Bernadette K McCabe, Peter W Harris, Thomas Schmidt, Diogenes L Antille, Seonmi Lee, Andrew Hill, Craig P Baillie
Keywords:   Agro-industrial, Anaerobic digestion, Biogas, Blood products, Byproducts, Compost, Lagoons, Recycling of abattoir-derived waste, Slaughterhouse

Abstract. Operations at meat processing plants result in the production of a range of solid and liquid wastes. Traditional solid waste management practices in Australia include rendering of offal, bones and blood into saleable products (example bone meal), composting (on-site and off-site) and off-site disposal whereas wastewater is treated on-site using anaerobic lagoons. The last decade has seen considerable interest in alternative technologies for the treatment of solid and liquid waste driven by a range of factors including rapidly increasing energy and fertilizer costs, increasing costs of disposal, odor emission and urban encroachment onto traditional rural areas and the potential for improved regulatory compliance.

This work provides an overview of closed-loop opportunities for the production of bioenergy and bioproducts using solid and liquid waste at Australian red meat processing facilities. Our investigations undertaken at one of Australia‘s largest processing plants have centered on developing tools and practices that better manage waste streams. This work will present results on biogas process optimization of a covered high rate anaerobic lagoon including addition of trace elements and investigation of crust management strategies. The use of solid organic waste in co-digestion and investigations into the reuse of paunch as a fertilizer are also provided. In addition, a review of value added products in the form of blood products was carried out to identify new opportunities in this area.

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