Dairy industries have grown in most countries because of the demand in milk and milk products. This rise has led to the growth of dairy industries. The wastewaters discharged from this industry contain high concentrations of nutrients, chemical oxygen demand (COD), biological oxygen demand (BOD), total suspended solids (TSS) and organic and inorganic contents, which can cause serious environmental problems if not properly treated. The conventional biological treatment methods are suitable for dairy wastewaters due to its high biodegradability. However, long chain fatty acids formed during the hydrolysis of lipids show the inhibitory action during anaerobic treatment. Sequencing batch reactor (SBR) and up flow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) systems seem to be the most promising technology for the biological treatment of dairy wastewaters. Several research papers have been published on the application of aerobic and anaerobic treatment technologies for dairy industry wastewater, but both treatment methods still have some disadvantages. The most important challenge is to find cost-efficient and environmentally sustainable approaches to enable water reuse and waste management. Therefore, alternative treatment technologies against biological treatment methods such as coagulation, adsorption, membrane and electrolysis processes are under investigation. This chapter provides a critical review focusing on physicochemical treatment technologies of dairy wastewater.
Part of the book: Technological Approaches for Novel Applications in Dairy Processing