The red meat industry uses large amounts of water, which gets contaminated during processing of the carcases and require extensive treatment. Generally, red meat wastewater contains high levels of organic material, such as fats, oils and greases, which must be removed before anaerobic digestion processes to avoid crust build-up and clogging of pipes. Research projects have been conducted to look at various pre-treatment processes and technologies.
The main component of the research area however has been the development of efficient large-scale treatment systems for highly contaminated abattoir wastewater. Anaerobic Lagoons (and Covered Anaerobic Lagoons) as well as in-vessel digesters have taken up most of the focus, and separate areas have been dedicated to the projects in these areas. Tertiary treatment of abattoir wastewater is necessary due to the high amounts of nutrients, which must be removed before discharge to sewer, waterways or before use for irrigation. Various nutrient removal and recovery technologies and processes have been covered in this research theme. Finally projects related to abattoir waste characterisation can be found in this area.