Enhanced waste activated sludge digestion using a submerged anaerobic dynamic membrane bioreactor: performance, sludge characteristics and microbial community.
ABSTRACT: Anaerobic digestion (AD) plays an important role in waste activated sludge (WAS) treatment; however, conventional AD (CAD) process needs substantial improvements, especially for the treatment of WAS with low solids content and poor anaerobic biodegradability. Herein, we propose a submerged anaerobic dynamic membrane bioreactor (AnDMBR) for simultaneous WAS thickening and digestion without any pretreatment. During the long-term operation, the AnDMBR exhibited an enhanced sludge reduction and improved methane production over CAD process. Moreover, the biogas generated in the AnDMBR contained higher methane content than CAD process. Stable carbon isotopic signatures elucidated the occurrence of combined methanogenic pathways in the AnDMBR process, in which hydrogenotrophic methanogenic pathway made a larger contribution to the total methane production. It was also found that organic matter degradation was enhanced in the AnDMBR, thus providing more favorable substrates for microorganisms. Pyrosequencing revealed that Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes were abundant in bacterial communities and Methanosarcina and Methanosaeta in archaeal communities, which played an important role in the AnDMBR system. This study shed light on the enhanced digestion of WAS using AnDMBR technology.
Project description:Anaerobic digestion (AD) is a widespread microbial technology used to treat organic waste and recover energy in the form of methane ("biogas"). While most AD systems have been designed to treat a single input, mixtures of digester sludge and solid organic waste are emerging as a means to improve efficiency and methane yield. We examined laboratory anaerobic cultures of AD sludge from two sources amended with food waste, xylose, and xylan at mesophilic temperatures, and with cellulose at meso- and thermophilic temperatures, to determine whether and how the inoculum and substrate affect biogas yield and community composition. All substrate and inoculum combinations yielded methane, with food waste most productive by mass. Pyrosequencing of transcribed bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA showed that community composition varied across substrates and inocula, with differing ratios of hydrogenotrophic/acetoclastic methanogenic archaea associated with syntrophic partners. While communities did not cluster by either inoculum or substrate, additional sequencing of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene in the source sludge revealed that the bacterial communities were influenced by their inoculum. These results suggest that complete and efficient AD systems could potentially be assembled from different microbial inocula and consist of taxonomically diverse communities that nevertheless perform similar functions.
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:Anaerobic digestion (AD) has been used for wastewater treatment and production of renewable energy or biogas. Propionate accumulation is one of the important problems leading to an unstable system and low methane production. Revealing propionate-degrading microbiome is necessary to gain a better knowledge for alleviation of the problem. Herein, we systematically investigated the propionate-degrading cultures enriched from various anaerobic sludge sources of agro-industrial wastewater treatment plants using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Different microbial profiles were shown even though the methanogenic activities of all cultures were similar. Interestingly, non-classical propionate-degrading key players Smithella, Syntrophomonas, and Methanosaeta were observed as common prevalent taxa in our enriched cultures. Moreover, different hydrogenotrophic methanogens were found specifically to the different sludge sources. The enriched culture of high salinity sludge showed a distinct microbial profile compared to the others, containing mainly Thermovirga, Anaerolinaceae, Methanosaeta, Syntrophobactor, and Methanospirillum. Our microbiome analysis revealed different propionate-degrading community profiles via mainly the Smithella pathway and offers inside information for microbiome manipulation in AD systems to increase biogas production corresponding to their specific microbial communities.
Project description:High solid anaerobic digestion (HSAD) is a rapidly developed anaerobic digestion technique for treating municipal sludge, and has been widely used in Europe and Asia. Recently, the enhanced HSAD process with thermal treatment showed its advantages in both methane production and VS reduction. However, the understanding of the microbial community is still poor. This study investigated microbial communities in a pilot enhanced two-stage HSAD system that degraded waste activated sludge at 9% solid content. The system employed process "thermal pre-treatment (TPT) at 70 °C, thermophilic anaerobic digestion (TAD), and mesophilic anaerobic digestion (MAD)". Hydrogenotrophic methanogens Methanothermobacter spp. dominated the system with relative abundance up to about 100% in both TAD and MAD. Syntrophic acetate oxidation (SAO) bacteria were discovered in TAD, and they converted acetate into H? and CO? to support hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis. The microbial composition and conversion route of this system are derived from the high solid content and protein content in raw sludge, as well as the operational conditions. This study could facilitate the understanding of the enhanced HSAD process, and is of academic and industrial importance.
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:The dataset reported in this article provides quantitative data on anaerobic digestion of cattle manure, source separated organics (SSO), primary sludge (PS), and thickened waste activated sludge (TWAS) using different inoculum sources. The discussion and interpretation of the data are provided in another publication entitled "Comparison of liquid and dewatered digestate as inoculum for anaerobic digestion of organic solid wastes" . The data presented in this article include 1) the gas chromatography (GC) procedure of determining the biogas composition, 2) the procedure of converting the daily biogas/methane production data from the experimental condition (mesophilic temperature of 38 °C and room pressure) to the standard temperature (0 °C) and pressure (1 atm) condition, 3) the specific methanogenic activity data, and 4) the methane daily production rate data, and 5) the organics biodegradation kinetic rates.
Project description: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: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: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:High-solid anaerobic digestion is an attractive solution to the problem of sewage sludge disposal. One method that can be used to enhance the production of volatile fatty acids (VFAs) and the generation of methane from anaerobic digestion involves combining an alkaline pretreatment step with the synergistic effects of sewage sludge and cattle manure co-digestion, which improves the activity of key enzymes and microorganisms in the anaerobic co-digestion system to promote the digestion of organic waste. In this study, we describe an efficient strategy that involves adjusting the volatile solid (VS) ratio (sewage sludge/cattle manure: 3/7) and initial pH (9.0) to improve VFA production and methane generation from the co-digestion of sludge and manure. The experimental results indicate that the maximum VFA production was 98.33?g/kg-TS (total solid) at the optimal conditions. Furthermore, methane generation in a long-term semi-continuously operated reactor (at a VS ratio of 3/7 and pH of 9.0) was greater than 120.0?L/kg-TS.