Economic feasibility of recycling chiller water in poultry processing plants by ultrafiltration
Houston, Jack E.
Nelson, Heather M.
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The poultry industry is the single largest agribusiness industry in Georgia and one of the most important in the United States. It is also facing multiple water usage problems stemming from rising water and sewer charges and an increase in pollution regulations. One way to reduce water usage and volume of wastewater is through recycling the chiller water used in processing. Food scientists and applied economists at the University of Georgia are collaborating on research to evaluate the operational and economic effectiveness of ultrafiltration membrane technologies (polymeric) at a pilot poultry processing plant in Georgia. On-site tests of membrane systems are underway. Preliminary economic analysis is highly positive (return rate = 45.6 %) and consistent with results from other manufacturing settings where similar systems have been employed. Economically efficient technological breakthroughs are essential if the U.S. poultry industry is to continue operating competitively.