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Integrated Biological Treatment and Biogas Production in a Small-Scale Slaughterhouse in Rural Ghana

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A small-scale anaerobic slaughter waste treatment plant in rural Ghana was tested for the production of energy and a microbiologically clean effluent suitable for use in irrigation. A typical day's slaughter, comprising 4 cattle, 12 sheep, and 12 goats, produced 8.5 m3 of biogas. Annually, this is equivalent to the energy from 17 metric tons of fuel wood, which is the annual productivity of 2 ha of savanna vegetation. Fecal indicator bacteria were reduced by 2 to 3 logs, nitrates by 86 to 90%, phosphates by 23%, biochemical oxygen demand by 42 to 92%, and suspended solids and dissolved solids by 73 to 86% and 19 to 37%, respectively. The effluent is used for irrigation, and the organic biomass from the digester is used as a biofertilizer. Besides energy and a cleaner effluent, the community benefited from a lessening dependency on fuel wood and reductions in unpleasant smells and nuisance animals, such as flies, dogs, and vultures.

Keywords: anaerobic digester; biogas; fecal indicators; slaughter waste

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2006

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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