The dairy industry is generally considered to be the largest source of food processing wastewater in many countries. Wastes from the dairy processing industry contain high concentrations of organic material such as proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids, high concentrations of suspended solids, high biological oxygen demand (BOD) and chemical oxygen demand (COD), high nitrogen concentrations, high suspended oil and/or grease contents, and large variations in pH, which necessitates “specialty” treatment so as to prevent or minimize environmental problems.
Anaerobic digestion is a well established technology for treatment of organic wastes. Biodegradation of the organic wastes in the absence of oxygen produces biogas, which is a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide as major components and traces of hydrogen, ammonia, hydrogen sulphide, etc. This could be understand by the concept of Waste to Energy. A [waste-to-energy] facility allows recovery of the energy contained in this by-product as biogas. Biogas can be used for thermal applications, such as water heating, drying, boiler fuel, etc., or for electricity generation.
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