Anaerobic digestion technologies and modelling of low strength wastewater from Australian dairy sheds



Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Civil, Mining and Environmental Engineering


The increasingly intensive dairy farming practices in Australia are generating greater volumes of more concentrated waste in dairy shed effluent. This has long been identified as a major contributor to diffuse source pollution in leading to surface and groundwater contamination and air pollution. Conventional dairy shed wastewater treatment practices such as land or pond based systems still do not provide sufficient treatment for the effluent to be safely disposed of into receptor lands and waterways. Also new environmental laws and regulations require more stringent waste management. Among the various methods of waste treatment, anaerobic digestion (AD) technology has been identified as a more efficient, small footprint, cost effective and sustainable technology. It can not only minimize the environmental impacts but can also maximize resource recovery especially the generation of useful renewable bio-fuel such as methane and the treated wastewater can be reused. Therefore further research into AD feasibility and biogas potential of Australian dairy shed waste streams is considered essential.

The outcome of this research has added a significant contribution to the body of knowledge of AD technology for Australian dairy shed wastewater treatment, which will not only enhance on-farm environmental management practices in a more sustainable manner but also bring commercial benefits to Australian dairy farming by bioenergy recovery. The systematic experimental results achieved from this research will provide an excellent basis of AD technology. In addition, the calibrated ADM1 model with optimal parameters based on this research will be a useful tool for optimal digester design, feasibility study and decision making for dairy farm operators contemplating waste management using AD systems.


This thesis is unavailable due to its continuing embargo.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.