VORTA for Valorization of Dairy Sludge

Worldwide dairy processing plants produce high volumes of dairy processing sludge (DPS). 

DPS refers to the residual material generated from effluent treatment plant attached to the plant producing various dairy products such as cheese, yoghurt, ice-cream.

The Significant Challenges in disposal ​
of dairy sludge​


Cost of transporting sludge is expensive


EPA is limiting the disposal of sludge


Sludge is fundamentally bad for the environment


Can we valorize the sludge
at the premises ?

The European dairy processing industry processed about 155 billion liters of domestic milk in 2022, about 50% more than the USA. It is estimated that dairy food processing wastewater treatment can generate up to 20 kg DPS per m3 of milk processed which resulted in 3.1 million tons of DPS (wet weight) across the EU in 2022!


Such large volume of sludge produced every year can be typically identified as sludge from Dissolved Air Floatation (DAF sludge) and the Brown sludge. These waste streams comprise significant carbon content and can be in principle valorized by using as substrate in anaerobic digestion. However, these sludges are not easily digestible.

VORTA offers suitable pre-treatment and significantly enhances biomethane yield and therefore valorization of dairy industry sludges


VORTA pretreating the Brown Sludge ​

The brown sludge can be pretreated with VORTA and fed again to the AD for its valorisation. This pre-treatment enhanced the degree of disintegration of sludge by increasing the soluble COD (sCOD) in the from the solids without any clogging issues. Thus bioavailability of the substrate increased the biomethane using microbial consortia in anaerobic digestion process.

Typically, shear imparted from the VORTA allowed the soluble chemical oxygen demand (sCOD) to go up by more than 25 % which was able to push the BMP of treated sludge to more than 80 % of the theoretical BMP.

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