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Recovery of nutrients from slaughtering industry wastewaters for reuse in agriculture

4 June, 2050

Recovery of nutrients from slaughtering industry wastewaters for reuse in agriculture


Waste water source

The prototype treats the wastewater from a slaughterhouse called 'Matadero del Sur', located in Salteras, near Seville (Spain). Nutrients recovered are turned into products with added value for the agro-chemical industry and, consequently, for the agricultural sector. The products produced are a fertilizer and two different biostimulants.

Distribution System

Farming system

Waste water treatment description

Nutrient removal : Sequal batch reactor (SBR), membrane bioreactor (MBR), fermentation (for lipids), anaerobic digestion, and an algae treatment
Pesticide removal : none
Disinfection : Anaerobic digestion also has a disinfecting role
Suspended solids removal : Rotary drum screen filters
Other :


The prototype has a treatment capacity of around 50 m³ per day, this is a third of the slaughterhouses daily wastewater flow.

Extent of the agricultural beneficiaries

Water2REturns main result is the valorisation of the sludge resulting from the wastewater treatment processes. The sludge can be used for agricultural purposes. This leads to the obtainment of 3 slaughterhouses Raw Materials (SRMs), the basis for the agronomic products. The three marketed Agronomic Products (APs) are free of pathogens and pollutants ready to commercialise (one fertilizer and two biostimulants).


Type of agreement

Scientific results

Additional information

Within the water line, wastewater will be treated and a nitrate concentrate will be obtained, from which an organic biofertilizer will be manufactured (Product 1). Within the sludge line, the sludge produced in the water line will be upgraded by following a fermentation process with Bacillus, resulting a solid fraction (Product 2) from which a biostimulant will be produced, and a liquid fraction, that will follow an anaerobic digestion (AD) process to produce energy (methane). Finally, within the algae line, the CO2 released from the AD unit will be captured to produce algal biomass, that will be used to formulate a second biostimulant (Product 3). All products will be free of pathogens, heavy metals and emerging pollutants, and ready to be commercialized at EU and international level.

Interactive view of the project with the different steps and techniques:





Type of initiative
Demonstration initiative
Waste water source
Food processing Industry
Waste water treatment
Nutrient removal, Desinfection, Suspended solids removal
Farming system
Application use
Irrigation of non-food crops
Irrigation method
Drip irrigation
Implementation stage
Initial implementation