We would approach this problem as an opportunity to take advantage of the possible value of the wastewater components. To do so, we would treat the cheese whey wastewater with chemical precipitation using lime or NaOH to produce clean wastewater and sludge containing the organic matter. The sludge byproduct would contain nitrogen and phosphorus, which can be used in the agricultural industry as fertilizer. Since the sludge has a high salinity value, it must be used with crops with high salinity tolerance. For instance, studies have shown tomato plants fertilized with cheese whey wastewater become sweeter and gain better nutritional properties.
(Kathy Cao, Adriana Peña, Danbi Rhee, Will Rong, Alex Rovalino)