Enhancing methane production using anaerobic co-digestion of waste activated sludge with combined fruit waste and cheese whey.
ABSTRACT: 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: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 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.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Manufactured silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are one of the most commonly used nanomaterials in consumer goods and consequently their concentrations in wastewater and hence wastewater treatment plants are predicted to increase. We investigated the fate of AgNPs in sludge that was subjected to aerobic and anaerobic treatment and the impact of AgNPs on microbial processes and communities. The initial identification of AgNPs in sludge was carried out using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) with energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis. The solid phase speciation of silver in sludge and wastewater influent was then examined using X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). The effects of transformed AgNPs (mainly Ag-S phases) on nitrification, wastewater microbial populations and, for the first time, methanogenesis was investigated. RESULTS: Sequencing batch reactor experiments and anaerobic batch tests, both demonstrated that nitrification rate and methane production were not affected by the addition of AgNPs [at 2.5 mg Ag L(-1) (4.9 g L(-1) total suspended solids, TSS) and 183.6 mg Ag kg (-1) (2.9 g kg(-1) total solids, TS), respectively]. The low toxicity is most likely due to AgNP sulfidation. XAS analysis showed that sulfur bonded Ag was the dominant Ag species in both aerobic (activated sludge) and anaerobic sludge. In AgNP and AgNO3 spiked aerobic sludge, metallic Ag was detected (~15%). However, after anaerobic digestion, Ag(0) was not detected by XAS analysis. Dominant wastewater microbial populations were not affected by AgNPs as determined by DNA extraction and pyrotag sequencing. However, there was a shift in niche populations in both aerobic and anaerobic sludge, with a shift in AgNP treated sludge compared with controls. This is the first time that the impact of transformed AgNPs (mainly Ag-S phases) on anaerobic digestion has been reported. CONCLUSIONS: Silver NPs were transformed to Ag-S phases during activated sludge treatment (prior to anaerobic digestion). Transformed AgNPs, at predicted future Ag wastewater concentrations, did not affect nitrification or methanogenesis. Consequently, AgNPs are very unlikely to affect the efficient functioning of wastewater treatment plants. However, AgNPs may negatively affect sub-dominant wastewater microbial communities.
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: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: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: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: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.