Use of cationic polymers to reduce pathogen levels during dairy manure separation

Before and after: E. coli bacteria after incubation with PDCD polymer

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Various separation technologies are used to deal with the enormous amounts of animal waste that large livestock operations generate. When the recycled waste stream is land applied, it is essential to lower the pathogen load to safeguard the health of livestock and humans. We investigated whether cationic polymers, used as a flocculent in the solid/liquid separation process, could reduce the pathogen indicator load in the animal waste stream. The effects of low charge density cationic polyacrylamide (CPAM) and high charge density cationic polydicyandiamide (PDCD) were investigated. Results demonstrated that CPAM was more effective than PDCD for manure coagulation and flocculation, while PDCD was more effective than CPAM in reducing the pathogen indicator loads. However, their combined use, CPAM followed by PDCD, resulted in both improved solids separation and pathogen indicator reduction.


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