Wastewater Treatment in Dairy Processing – Innovative solutions for sustainable wastewater management


Source: International Dairy Federation

by Piercristiano Brazzale, Brice Bourbon, Pierre Barrucand, Mark Fenelon, Stefano Guercini and Raffaele Tiarca


Like all wastes produced by a production plant, dairy wastewater needs to be treated before it is discharged into water bodies. Owing to their composition and organic matter content, biological treatments are emphasised and, currently, activated sludge is one of the most used processes. This treatment, completed by other unitary operations, achieves the quality levels required for the discharge. However, dairy wastewater has interesting potentialities. Its unique composition can support energy production and its treatment, under some conditions, can allow the recovery of water for its reuse.
Different technologies are currently available to accomplish these objectives: anaerobic reactor to treat carbon pollution and producing biogas, membrane bioreactor and membrane filtration for treating and producing water for reuse. Some dairy plants already use these technologies and their feedbacks are positives.

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