TUCKER, GA.– A Georgia Institute of Technology project that researched peracetic acid in poultry processing wastewater treatment facilities was recently completed, according to USPOULTRY and USPOULTRY Foundation.

The principal investigator for the project was Spyros G. Pavlostathis, PhD, from Georgia Tech’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. 

Pavlostathis wrote in the summary that the overall goal of this project was to systematically assess the fate and long-term effect of peracetic acid (PAA) solutions on poultry processing biological nitrogen removal (BNR) and anaerobic treatment processes typically used by the poultry processing industry and develop an effective methodology to either avoid or mitigate any negative effects.

The research was part of a foundation gift by Sanderson Farms and is part of USPOULTRY’s program to look at all phases of the poultry and egg production and processing.

The summary of the project also said that peracetic acid remaining after its reaction with wastewater systems may impact biological wastewater treatment processes.

By looking at the current wastewater treatment systems, Pavlostathis found that aerobic and anoxic organic matter degradation, as well as nitrification, denitrification and anaerobic degradation with poultry processing wastewater, will not be affected during the normal plant operation when residual PAA and Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) are not present in the wastewater.

­Still, nitrification, denitrification and anaerobic degradation will be affected when wastewater with high residual PAA concentrations are expected at the end of the plant operation shift due to emptying of chiller tanks, or in the case of accidental PAA solution spills.

To read the summary go to the USPOULTRY website here. Members interested in reviewing the full report can contact USPOULTRY Vice President of Research Denise Heard, PhD, at dheard@uspoultry.org.