Date of Award

5-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences

Committee Member

Dr. David Ladner, Committee

Committee Member

Chair Dr. Sudeep Popat

Committee Member

Dr. Yi Zheng

Abstract

Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) wastewater is a kind of high-strength industrial wastewater that contains a high amount of total suspended solids (TSS), chemical oxygen demand (COD), and proteins. One industry that has high-FOG wastewater is the rendering industry, which converts animal byproducts to protein meal and fat, which have value as a commodity. FOG wastewater in the rendering industry is usually treated by dissolved air flotation (DAF) and the recovered proteins and fats are sent back to the rendering process stream. An important drawback to DAF is that chemical flocculants are usually needed, but these chemicals become contaminants in the final protein and fat streams sold to customers. Another drawback is that oxygen in the DAF process can oxidize proteins and degrade their quality. An alternative to DAF is membrane technology. Because membranes have not been heavily used in FOG wastewater applications (especially in the rendering industry) this project sought to create a test system to evaluate membranes in this context, with real-world operating conditions. There were three main objectives in this project. The first objective was to build a field-deployable semi-autonomous filtration unit. This was achieved by improving an existing system from previous research. Other pumps, valves, and electronic components were added to the system to realize semi-autonomous filtration. A control program was created in LabVIEW for system operation.

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