Zero valent iron significantly enhances methane production from waste activated sludge by improving biochemical methane potential rather than hydrolysis rate.
ABSTRACT: Anaerobic digestion has been widely applied for waste activated sludge (WAS) treatment. However, methane production from anaerobic digestion of WAS is usually limited by the slow hydrolysis rate and/or poor biochemical methane potential of WAS. This work systematically studied the effects of three different types of zero valent iron (i.e., iron powder, clean scrap and rusty scrap) on methane production from WAS in anaerobic digestion, by using both experimental and mathematical approaches. The results demonstrated that both the clean and the rusty iron scrap were more effective than the iron powder for improving methane production from WAS. Model-based analysis showed that ZVI addition significantly enhanced methane production from WAS through improving the biochemical methane potential of WAS rather than its hydrolysis rate. Economic analysis indicated that the ZVI-based technology for enhancing methane production from WAS is economically attractive, particularly considering that iron scrap can be freely acquired from industrial waste. Based on these results, the ZVI-based anaerobic digestion process of this work could be easily integrated with the conventional chemical phosphorus removal process in wastewater treatment plant to form a cost-effective and environment-friendly approach, enabling maximum resource recovery/reuse while achieving enhanced methane production in wastewater treatment system.
Project description:Anaerobic sludge digestion is the main technology for sludge reduction and stabilization prior to sludge disposal. Nevertheless, methane production from anaerobic digestion of waste activated sludge (WAS) is often restricted by the poor biochemical methane potential and slow hydrolysis rate of WAS. This work systematically investigated the effect of PHA levels of WAS on anaerobic methane production, using both experimental and mathematical modeling approaches. Biochemical methane potential tests showed that methane production increased with increased PHA levels in WAS. Model-based analysis suggested that the PHA-based method enhanced methane production by improving biochemical methane potential of WAS, with the highest enhancement being around 40% (from 192 to 274 L CH4/kg VS added; VS: volatile solid) when the PHA levels increased from 21 to 143 mg/g VS. In contrast, the hydrolysis rate (approximately 0.10 d(-1)) was not significantly affected by the PHA levels. Economic analysis suggested that the PHA-based method could save $1.2/PE/y (PE: population equivalent) in a typical wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). The PHA-based method can be easily integrated into the current WWTP to enhance methane production, thereby providing a strong support to the on-going paradigm shift in wastewater management from pollutant removal to resource recovery.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Recently, it has been indicated that anaerobic co-digestion of waste activated sludge with other waste streams at wastewater treatment plants is a promising strategy for enhancing methane production and materials recovery. The enhanced methane production can be used as a renewable source of energy in wastewater treatment plants. It can also reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emission in landfilling of the waste streams. RESULTS:According to the results obtained in this study, anaerobic co-digestion of waste activated sludge with mixed fruit waste and cheese whey improves methane production and the quality of digested sludge in comparison to the anaerobic digestion of waste activated sludge individually. It was indicated that carbon/nitrogen ratio (C/N) in the mixture of waste activated sludge, fruit waste and cheese whey improved considerably, leading to better anaerobic organisms' activity during digestion. With assessing the activity of protease and cellulase, as the main enzymes hydrolyzing organic matter in anaerobic digestion, it was indicated that co-digestion of waste activated sludge with mixed fruit waste and cheese whey enhances the activity of these enzymes by 22 and 9% respectively. At the end of digestion, the amount of cumulative methane production significantly increased by 31% in the reactor with 85% waste activated sludge and 15% mixed fruit waste and cheese whey, compared to the reactor with 100% waste activated sludge. In addition, chemical oxygen demand (COD) and volatile solid (VS) in digested sludge was improved respectively by 9 and 7% when mixed fruit waste and cheese whey was used. CONCLUSIONS:This study revealed that mixed fruit waste and cheese whey is potentially applicable to anaerobic digestion of waste activated sludge, as fruit waste and cheese whey have high C/N ratio that enhance low C/N in waste activated sludge and provide a better diet for anaerobic organisms. This is of significant importance because not only could higher amount of renewable energy be generated from the enhanced methane production in wastewater treatment plants, but also capital costs of the companies whose waste streams are being transported to wastewater treatments plants could be reduced considerably.
Project description:Extensive use of nanoparticles (NPs) in consumer and industrial products has led to concerns about their potential environmental impacts; however, the influences of different NPs (e.g., nZVI (nano zero-valent iron), Ag NPs, Fe2O3 NPs and MgO NPs) on the anaerobic digestion of sludge have not yet been studied in depth. Additionally, a new guideline or the use of different NPs in the anaerobic digestion of sludge should be established to improve the anaerobic digestion of sludge and avoid inhibitory effects. This study investigated the effects of four representative NPs (i.e., nZVI, Ag NPs, Fe2O3 NPs and MgO NPs) on methane production during the anaerobic digestion of waste activated sludge (WAS). The presence of 10?mg/g total suspended solids (TSS) nZVI and 100?mg/g TSS Fe2O3 NPs increased methane production to 120% and 117% of the control, respectively, whereas 500?mg/g TSS Ag NPs and 500?mg/g TSS MgO NPs generated lower levels of methane production (73.52% and 1.08% that of the control, respectively). These results showed that low concentrations of nZVI and Fe2O3 NPs promoted the amount of microbes (Bacteria and Archaea) and activities of key enzymes but that higher concentrations of Ag NPs and MgO NPs inhibited them.
Project description:Recently, it has been indicated that free nitrous acid (FNA) and Fenton pre-treatment of waste activated sludge can enhance methane production in anaerobic digestion of waste activated sludge. In addition, it has been revealed that the substances used in these pre-treatments are both eco-friendly and economically attractive because not only are they produced in anaerobic digestion, but they are also low priced. Since primary sludge and waste activated sludge are mixed prior to anaerobic digestion in the majority of wastewater treatment plants, this study aims to assess the influence of combined FNA and Fenton on the anaerobic digestion of mixed sludge.According to this study's results, methane generation from anaerobic digestion of mixed sludge was enhanced when using FNA and Fenton pre-treatment, affirming the effectiveness of the individual and combined pre-treatments in anaerobic digestion of mixed sludge. The enhanced methane production was significant in combined pre-treatments (up to 72%), compared with FNA and Fenton pre-treatment alone (25% and 27%, respectively). This corroborates the positive synergistic effect of the combined pre-treatments on methane production. The enhanced methane can be attributed to augmented soluble fractions of organic matter in addition to increased readily biodegradable organic matter, caused by the pre-treatments. Additionally, the amount of chemical oxygen demand (COD) was assessed during anaerobic digestion, and it was revealed that COD decreased considerably when the pre-treatment strategies were combined.This study reveals that the pre-treatments are potentially applicable to full-scale wastewater treatment plants because a mixture of primary sludge and waste activated sludge was used for the pre-treatments. Additionally, combined FNA and Fenton pre-treatments prove more effective in enhancing methane production and organic removal than these pre-treatments alone. The enhanced methane production is important for two reasons: a higher amount of renewable energy could be generated from the enhanced methane production and the COD of digested sludge reduces in such a way that facilitates application of the sludge to agricultural lands and reduces sludge transport costs.
Project description:Urban sludge produced on wastewater treatment plants are often contaminated by organic pollutants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Their removal under methanogenic conditions was already reported, but the factors influencing this removal remain unclear. Here, we determined the influence of microbial communities on PAH removal under controlled physico-chemical conditions. Twelve mesophilic anaerobic digesters were inoculated with three microbial communities extracted from ecosystems with contrasting pollution histories: a PAH contaminated soil, a PCB contaminated sediment and a low contaminated anaerobic sludge. These anaerobic digesters were operated during 100 days in continuous mode. A sterilised activated sludge, spiked with 13 PAH at concentrations usually encountered in full-scale wastewater treatment plants, was used as substrate. The dry matter and volatile solid degradation, the biogas production rate and composition, the volatile fatty acids (VFA) production and the PAH removals were monitored. Bacterial and archaeal communities were compared in abundance (qPCR), in community structure (SSCP fingerprinting) and in dominant microbial species (454-pyrosequencing). The bioreactors inoculated with the community extracted from low contaminated anaerobic sludge showed the greater methane production. The PAH removals ranged from 10% to 30%, respectively, for high and low molecular weight PAH, whatever the inoculums tested, and were highly correlated with the dry matter and volatile solid removals. The microbial community structure and diversity differed with the inoculum source; this difference was maintained after the 100 days of digestion. However, the PAH removal was not correlated to these diverse structures and diversities. We hence obtained three functional stable consortia with two contrasted metabolic activities, and three different pictures of microbial diversity, but similar PAH and matter removals. These results confirm that PAH removal depends on the molecule type and on the solid matter removal. But, as PAH elimination is similar whether the solid substrate is degraded into VFA or into methane, it seems that the fermentative communities are responsible for their elimination.
Project description:China produces large amount of cotton stalk (CS) residues as agricultural biomass, which are incinerated on-site, causing air pollution. The high organic content of CS could be utilized for biogas production, but the direct digestion without pretreatment always leads to a low methane yield and biodegradability, due to the complicated structure of lignocellulose. In order to search best fitting pretreatment methods in effective anaerobic digestion (AD) of CS, effects of various pretreatments including KOH, NaOH, Ca(OH)2, alkali hydrogen peroxide (AHP), H2SO4, H3PO4 and steam explosion (SE) were studied. It was seen that all treatments resulted in varying methane yields. Among all the pretreatments, acid pretreatment is not suitable for AD of CS. The results showed that the highest cumulative methane yield (CMY) of 192.4?mL·gVS-1 was obtained after 3% AHP pretreatment of CS, and the methane yield improved by 254.3% than the untreated CS. Therefore, AHP treatment was proven to be an efficient pretreatment technique. XRD and FTIR analyses had shown that pretreated CS had favorable structural changes. This research is beneficial in developing environment friendly and cost-effective pretreatment technologies to utilize CS for methane production in future application.
Project description:Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is crucial for controlling the emission of this potent greenhouse gas to the atmosphere. Nitrite-, nitrate-, and sulfate-dependent methane oxidation is well-documented, but AOM coupled to the reduction of oxidized metals has so far been demonstrated only in environmental samples. Here, using a freshwater enrichment culture, we show that archaea of the order Methanosarcinales, related to "Candidatus Methanoperedens nitroreducens," couple the reduction of environmentally relevant forms of Fe3+ and Mn4+ to the oxidation of methane. We obtained an enrichment culture of these archaea under anaerobic, nitrate-reducing conditions with a continuous supply of methane. Via batch incubations using [13C]methane, we demonstrated that soluble ferric iron (Fe3+, as Fe-citrate) and nanoparticulate forms of Fe3+ and Mn4+ supported methane-oxidizing activity. CO2 and ferrous iron (Fe2+) were produced in stoichiometric amounts. Our study connects the previous finding of iron-dependent AOM to microorganisms detected in numerous habitats worldwide. Consequently, it enables a better understanding of the interaction between the biogeochemical cycles of iron and methane.
Project description:Anaerobic wastewater treatment offers several advantages; however, the effluent of anaerobic digesters still contains high levels of ammonium and dissolved methane that need to be removed before these effluents can be discharged to surface waters. The simultaneous anaerobic removal of methane and ammonium by denitrifying (N-damo) methanotrophs in combination with anaerobic ammonium-oxidizing (anammox) bacteria could be a potential solution to this challenge. After a molecular survey of a wastewater plant treating brewery effluent, indicating the presence of both N-damo and anammox bacteria, we started an anaerobic bioreactor with a continuous supply of methane, ammonium, and nitrite to enrich these anaerobic microorganisms. After 14 months of operation, a stable enrichment culture containing two types of 'Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera' bacteria and two strains of 'Ca. Brocadia'-like anammox bacteria was achieved. In this community, anammox bacteria converted 80% of the nitrite with ammonium, while 'Ca. Methylomirabilis' contributed to 20% of the nitrite consumption. The analysis of metagenomic 16S rRNA reads and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) correlated well and showed that, after 14 months, 'Ca. Methylomirabilis' and anammox bacteria constituted approximately 30 and 20% of the total microbial community. In addition, a substantial part (10%) of the community consisted of Phycisphaera-related planctomycetes. Assembly and binning of the metagenomic sequences resulted in high-quality draft genome of two 'Ca. Methylomirabilis' species containing the marker genes pmoCAB, xoxF, and nirS and putative NO dismutase genes. The anammox draft genomes most closely related to 'Ca. Brocadia fulgida' included the marker genes hzsABC, hao, and hdh. Whole-reactor and batch anaerobic activity measurements with methane, ammonium, nitrite, and nitrate revealed an average anaerobic methane oxidation rate of 0.12 mmol h-1 L-1 and ammonium oxidation rate of 0.5 mmol h-1 L-1. Together, this study describes the enrichment and draft genomes of anaerobic methanotrophs from a brewery wastewater treatment plant, where these organisms together with anammox bacteria can contribute significantly to the removal of methane and ammonium in a more sustainable way. KEY POINTS: • An enrichment culture containing both N-damo and anammox bacteria was obtained. • Simultaneous consumption of ammonia, nitrite, and methane under anoxic conditions. • In-depth metagenomic biodiversity analysis of inoculum and enrichment culture.
Project description:Anaerobic digestion was one of the first bioenergy strategies developed, yet the interactions of the microbial community that is responsible for the production of methane are still poorly understood. For example, it has only recently been recognized that the bacteria that oxidize organic waste components can forge electrical connections with methane-producing microbes through biologically produced, protein-based, conductive circuits. This direct interspecies electron transfer (DIET) is faster than interspecies electron exchange via diffusive electron carriers, such as H<sub>2</sub>. DIET is also more resilient to perturbations such as increases in organic load inputs or toxic compounds. However, with current digester practices DIET rarely predominates. Improvements in anaerobic digestion associated with the addition of electrically conductive materials have been attributed to increased DIET, but experimental verification has been lacking. This deficiency may soon be overcome with improved understanding of the diversity of microbes capable of DIET, which is leading to molecular tools for determining the extent of DIET. Here we review the microbiology of DIET, suggest molecular strategies for monitoring DIET in anaerobic digesters, and propose approaches for re-engineering digester design and practices to encourage DIET.
Project description:Recently discovered microorganisms affiliated to the bacterial phylum NC10, named "Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera", perform nitrite-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation. These microorganisms could be important players in a novel way of anaerobic wastewater treatment where ammonium and residual dissolved methane might be removed at the expense of nitrate or nitrite. To find suitable inocula for reactor startup, ten selected wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) located in The Netherlands were screened for the endogenous presence of M. oxyfera using molecular diagnostic methods. We could identify NC10 bacteria with 98% similarity to M. oxyfera in nine out of ten WWTPs tested. Sludge from one selected WWTP was used to start a new enrichment culture of NC10 bacteria. This enrichment was monitored using specific pmoA primers and M. oxyfera cells were visualized with fluorescence oligonucleotide probes. After 112 days, the enrichment consumed up to 0.4 mM NO(2)(-) per day. The results of this study show that appropriate sources of biomass, enrichment strategies, and diagnostic tools existed to start and monitor pilot scale tests for the implementation of nitrite-dependent methane oxidation in wastewater treatment at ambient temperature.