Over 70 million tons of organic waste is produced in the United States each year with many being nonedible sources such as livestock manure, agriculture wastes, wastewater, and inedible food wastes. If improperly managed, these organic wastes pose a significant risk to the environment and public health due to the presence of pathogens, chemicals, antibiotics, and nutrients that may contaminate surface and ground waters through runoff or by leaching into soils as well as result in algal blooms, harm wildlife or further reduce the quality of surface waters. Large amounts of methane, which is considered a significant greenhouse gas, may also be generated through decomposition of the organic waste and if not properly managed, poses further risk to global warming.
For many companies, handling the organic wastes requires hauling the waste to water treatment facilities or other waste disposal operations which in turn adds significant cost to the process and may limit the ability of the operation to expand to meet market growth. Cost effective onsite treatment processes such as crossflow filtration can create clean water for reuse, allow direct discharge or create a concentrate that reduces total amount to be disposed or even that can be turned into value added co-products are therefore very desirable.
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