Slaughterhouse wastewater characteristics, treatment, and management in the meat processing industry: A review on trends and advances

J Environ Manage. 2015 Sep 15;161:287-302. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2015.07.008. Epub 2015 Jul 17.


A thorough review of advancement in slaughterhouse wastewater (SWW) characteristics, treatment, and management in the meat processing industry is presented. This study also provides a general review of the environmental impacts, health effects, and regulatory frameworks relevant to the SWW management. A significant progress in high-rate anaerobic treatment, nutrient removal, advanced oxidation processes (AOPs), and the combination of biological treatment and AOPs for SWW treatment is highlighted. The treatment processes are described and few examples of their applications are given. Conversely, few advances are accounted in terms of waste minimization and water use reduction, reuse, and recycle in slaughterhouses, which may offer new alternatives for cost-effective waste management. An overview of the most frequently applied technologies and combined processes for organic and nutrient removal during the last decade is also summarized. Several types of individual and combined processes have been used for the SWW treatment. Nevertheless, the selection of a particular technology depends on the characteristics of the wastewater, the available technology, and the compliance with regulations. This review facilitates a better understanding of current difficulties that can be found during production and management of the SWW, including treatment and characteristics of the final effluent.

Keywords: Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs); Biological treatment; Combined processes; Slaughterhouse wastewater (SWW); Wastewater treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abattoirs*
  • Food-Processing Industry / methods*
  • Meat
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Waste Disposal, Fluid / methods*
  • Waste Water / analysis*
  • Waste Water / chemistry


  • Waste Water