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Assessment of Nutritional Value of Single-Cell Protein from Waste-Activated Sludge as a Protein Supplement in Poultry Feed

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The amount of protein wasted through sludge in Gauteng, South Africa, amounts to 95 000 metric tonne/yr, with the order of magnitude of the national protein requirement of approximately 145 000 metric tonne/yr. Waste-activated sludge (WAS) from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) that treat domestic wastewater contains protein in a ratio of 2:1 against fishmeal. This protein source has not been utilized because of the high content of toxic heavy metals and other potential carcinogenic pollutants in the sludge. In this study, a pretreatment method of modified aqua regia dilute acid wash was used to lower the metal content by approximately 60%. However, this resulted in a 33% loss of amino acids in the acid-washed WAS. A feed substitution test in poultry with different fishmeal-sludge ratios (0%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% WAS as percent substitution of fishmeal) showed no impact of sludge single-cell protein (SCP) on mortality rate. However, sludge substitution in the feed yielded weight gains and cost savings up to 46%.
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Keywords: beneficial sludge use; feed conversion ratio; fishmeal; single-cell protein; waste-activated sludge

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Water Utilisation Division, Department of Chemical Engineering University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa, Tel: +27 12 420-5894, Fax: +27 12 362-5089

Publication date: 2012-12-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    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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