Poultry Slaughterhouse Wastewater Treatment Using an Integrated Biological and Electrocoagulation Treatment System: Process Optimisation Using Response Surface Methodology

The feasibility of a biological (Ecoflush<sup>TM</sup>) and/or electrocoagulation (EC) treatment system in removing chemical oxygen demand (COD) and fats, oils, and grease (FOG) from poultry slaughterhouse wastewater (PSW) were studied. The response surface methodology (RSM) was used to identify the optimum operating condition for EC and its integration with Ecoflush<sup>TM</sup> as a pre-treatment for the removal of lipids. The optimum operating conditions were obtained at a pH of 3.05, a current density of 66.9 A/m<sup>2</sup>, 74-min of treatment time, and without Ecoflush&trade;. These conditions produced a high-quality clarified effluent after 92.4% COD reduction and 99% FOG reduction. The treatment with Ecoflush<sup>TM</sup> only resulted in 85&ndash;99% FOG reduction, 20&ndash;50% COD reduction, and odourless effluent. However, the combination of both processes (Ecoflush<sup>TM</sup> and EC) did not yield a significant difference (F test, <i>p</i> &gt; 0.05) when compared to the performance of EC alone. Despite the low removal percentages of nitrogen and phosphorus, the present study proved that EC is an effective method for the removal of COD and FOG, rendering an effluent that meets the permissible discharge standards for the City of Cape Town. The novel Ecoflush&trade; also proved to be very efficient in the removal of FOG from PSW.