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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%.

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®) 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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