Improvement of anaerobic digestion of sewage mixed sludge using free nitrous acid and Fenton pre-treatment.
ABSTRACT: 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:In this study, actual swage waste activated sludge in batch reactors was employed to assess the synergistic effect of free nitrous acid and Fenton pre-treatments on enhancing methane production in the anaerobic digestion process. In addition to methane enhancement, the mechanisms driving the enhancement were also investigated via measuring enzymes activity and solubilisation of organic matter. This study revealed that the combined pre-treatments solubilised organic matter significantly more than the bioreactors pre-treated with individual FNA and Fenton. For understanding the influence of pre-treatments on solubilisation of organic matter, soluble protein, soluble polysaccharide and soluble chemical oxygen demand (SCOD) were measured before and after the treatments and it was shown that they respectively increased by 973%, 33% and 353% after the treatments. Protease and cellulase activity, as the key constituents of the microbial community in activated sludge, decreased considerably after the combined pre-treatments 42% and 32% respectively, which resulted in considerable methane enhancement. The results corroborate the synergy of the combined FNA and Fenton pre-treatment in degrading the organic and microbial constituents in waste activated sludge, paving the way for the big-scale implementation of these technologies.
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:BACKGROUND:This study investigated the feasibility of enhancing anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge with triple, dual, and individual pretreatment of waste activated sludge with heat, alkalinity, and hydrogen peroxide. These pretreatments disrupt sludge flocs, organisms' cell walls, extracellular polymeric substance, and intracellular organic matter, which increase biodegradability and hydrolysis rate of activate sludge. In addition, the influence of various variables on methane production was analyzed using the response surface methodology with the quadratic model. Eventually, an optimized temperature and chemical concentration for the highest methane production and lowest chemical usage is suggested. RESULTS:The highest amount of methane production was obtained from the sludge pretreated with triple pretreatment (heat (90?°C), alkaline (pH?=?12), and hydrogen peroxide (30?mg H2O2/g TS)), which had better performance with 96% higher methane production than that of the control sample with temperature of 25?°C approximately and a pH?=?8. Response surface methodology with a quadratic model was also used for analyzing the influence of temperature, pH, and hydrogen peroxide concentration on anaerobic digestion efficiency. It was revealed that the optimized temperature, pH, and hydrogen peroxide concentration for maximizing methane production and solubilization of sludge and minimizing thermal energy and chemical additives of the pretreatments are 83.2?°C, pH?=?10.6 and 34.8?mg H2O2/g TS, respectively, has the desirability of 0.67. CONCLUSION:This study reveals that triple pretreatment of waste activated sludge performed better than dual and individual pretreatment, respectively, in all desirable output parameters including increasing methane production as the most important output, increasing in COD solubilization, protein and polysaccharide, and decreasing in VSS solubilization.
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.
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:Anaerobic digestion (AD), being the most effective treatment method of waste activated sludge (WAS), allows for safe disposal. The present study deals with the electro-Fenton (EF) pretreatment for enhancing the WAS biogas potential with low-cost iron electrodes. The effect of pretreatment on the physicochemical characteristics of sludge was assessed. Following EF pretreatment, the pH, conductivity, soluble chemical oxygen demand (SCOD), and volatile fatty acids (VFA) increased to 7.5, 13.72 mS/cm, 4.1 g/L, and 925 mg/L, respectively. Capillary suction time (CST) analysis highlighted the dewaterability effect of EF on WAS, as demonstrated by the decrease in CST from 429 to 180 s following 30 min of pretreatment. Batch digestion assays presented an increase in the biogas yield to 0.135 L/g volatile solids (VS) after 60 min of EF pretreatment in comparison to raw sludge (0.08 L/g VS). Production of biogas was also found to improve during semi-continuous fermentation of EF-pretreated sludge conducted in a lab-scale reactor. In comparison to raw sludge, EF-pretreated sludge produced the highest biogas yield (0.81 L biogas/g VS) with a high COD removal rate, reaching 96.6% at an organic loading rate (OLR) of 2.5 g VS/L. d. Results revealed that the EF process could be an effective WAS disintegration method with maximum recovery of bioenergy during AD.
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: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:Acetate production from food waste or sewage sludge was evaluated in four semi-continuous anaerobic digestion processes. To examine the importance of inoculum and substrate for acid production, two different inoculum sources (a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) and a co-digestion plant treating food and industry waste) and two common substrates (sewage sludge and food waste) were used in process operations. The processes were evaluated with regard to the efficiency of hydrolysis, acidogenesis, acetogenesis, and methanogenesis and the microbial community structure was determined. Feeding sewage sludge led to mixed acid fermentation and low total acid yield, whereas feeding food waste resulted in the production of high acetate and lactate yields. Inoculum from WWTP with sewage sludge substrate resulted in maintained methane production, despite a low hydraulic retention time. For food waste, the process using inoculum from WWTP produced high levels of lactate (30 g/L) and acetate (10 g/L), while the process initiated with inoculum from the co-digestion plant had higher acetate (25 g/L) and lower lactate (15 g/L) levels. The microbial communities developed during acid production consisted of the major genera Lactobacillus (92-100%) with food waste substrate, and Roseburia (44-45%) and Fastidiosipila (16-36%) with sewage sludge substrate. Use of the outgoing material (hydrolysates) in a biogas production system resulted in a non-significant increase in bio-methane production (+5-20%) compared with direct biogas production from food waste and sewage sludge.