Process optimization and effect of thermal, alkaline, H2O2 oxidation and combination pretreatment of sewage sludge on solubilization and anaerobic digestion.
ABSTRACT: 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: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:BACKGROUND:Pretreatment is a critical step in the conversion of lignocellulose to fermentable sugars. Although many pretreatment processes are currently under investigation, none of them are entirely satisfactory in regard to effectiveness, cost, or environmental impact. The use of hydrogen peroxide at pH 11.5 (alkaline hydrogen peroxide (AHP)) was shown by Gould and coworkers to be an effective pretreatment of grass stovers and other plant materials in the context of animal nutrition and ethanol production. Our earlier experiments indicated that AHP performed well when compared against two other alkaline pretreatments. Here, we explored several key parameters to test the potential of AHP for further improvement relevant to lignocellulosic ethanol production. RESULTS:The effects of biomass loading, hydrogen peroxide loading, residence time, and pH control were tested in combination with subsequent digestion with a commercial enzyme preparation, optimized mixtures of four commercial enzymes, or optimized synthetic mixtures of pure enzymes. AHP pretreatment was performed at room temperature (23°C) and atmospheric pressure, and after AHP pretreatment the biomass was neutralized with HCl but not washed before enzyme digestion. Standard enzyme digestion conditions were 0.2% glucan loading, 15 mg protein/g glucan, and 48 h digestion at 50°C. Higher pretreatment biomass loadings (10% to 20%) gave higher monomeric glucose (Glc) and xylose (Xyl) yields than the 2% loading used in earlier studies. An H2O2 loading of 0.25 g/g biomass was almost as effective as 0.5 g/g, but 0.125 g/g was significantly less effective. Optimized mixtures of four commercial enzymes substantially increased post-AHP-pretreatment enzymatic hydrolysis yields at all H2O2 concentrations compared to any single commercial enzyme. At a pretreatment biomass loading of 10% and an H2O2 loading of 0.5 g/g biomass, an optimized commercial mixture at total protein loadings of 8 or 15 mg/g glucan gave monomeric Glc yields of 83% or 95%, respectively. Yields of Glc and Xyl after pretreatment at a low hydrogen peroxide loading (0.125 g H2O2/g biomass) could be improved by extending the pretreatment residence time to 48 h and readjusting the pH to 11.5 every 6 h during the pretreatment. A Glc yield of 77% was obtained using a pretreatment of 15% biomass loading, 0.125 g H2O2/g biomass, and 48 h with pH adjustment, followed by digestion with an optimized commercial enzyme mixture at an enzyme loading of 15 mg protein/g glucan. CONCLUSIONS:Alkaline peroxide is an effective pretreatment for corn stover. Particular advantages are the use of reagents with low environmental impact and avoidance of special reaction chambers. Reasonable yields of monomeric Glc can be obtained at an H2O2 concentration one-quarter of that used in previous AHP research. Additional improvements in the AHP process, such as peroxide stabilization, peroxide recycling, and improved pH control, could lead to further improvements in AHP pretreatment.
Project description:Microalgae biomethanization is driven by anaerobic sludge associated microorganisms and is generally limited by the incomplete hydrolysis of the microalgae cell wall, which results in a low availability of microalgal biomass for the methanogenic community. The application of enzymatic pretreatments, e.g., with hydrolytic enzymes, is among the strategies used to work around the incomplete hydrolysis of the microalgae cell wall. Despite the proven efficacy of these pretreatments in increasing biomethanization, the changes that a given pretreatment may cause to the anaerobic sludge associated microorganisms during biomethanization are still unknown. This study evaluated the changes in the expression of the metatranscriptome of anaerobic sludge associated microorganisms during Chlorella sorokiniana biomethanization without pretreatment (WP) (control) and pretreated with commercial cellulase in order to increase the solubilization of the microalgal organic matter. Pretreated microalgal biomass experienced significant increases in biogas the production. The metatranscriptomic analysis of control samples showed functionally active microalgae cells, a bacterial community dominated by ?- and ?-proteobacteria, and a methanogenic community dominated by Methanospirillum hungatei. In contrast, pretreated samples were characterized by the absence of active microalgae cells and a bacteria population dominated by species of the Clostridia class. These differences are also related to the differential activation of metabolic pathways e.g., those associated with the degradation of organic matter during its biomethanization.
Project description:Background:In this work, three pretreatments under investigation at the DOE Bioenergy Research Centers (BRCs) were subjected to a side-by-side comparison to assess their performance on model bioenergy hardwoods (a eucalyptus and a hybrid poplar). These include co-solvent-enhanced lignocellulosic fractionation (CELF), pretreatment with an ionic liquid using potentially biomass-derived components (cholinium lysinate or [Ch][Lys]), and two-stage Cu-catalyzed alkaline hydrogen peroxide pretreatment (Cu-AHP). For each of the feedstocks, the pretreatments were assessed for their impact on lignin and xylan solubilization and enzymatic hydrolysis yields as a function of enzyme loading. Lignins recovered from the pretreatments were characterized for polysaccharide content, molar mass distributions, ?-aryl ether content, and response to depolymerization by thioacidolysis. Results:All three pretreatments resulted in significant solubilization of lignin and xylan, with the CELF pretreatment solubilizing the majority of both biopolymer categories. Enzymatic hydrolysis yields were shown to exhibit a strong, positive correlation with the lignin solubilized for the low enzyme loadings. The pretreatment-derived solubles in the [Ch][Lys]-pretreated biomass were presumed to contribute to inhibition of enzymatic hydrolysis in the eucalyptus as a substantial fraction of the pretreatment liquor was carried forward into hydrolysis for this pretreatment. The pretreatment-solubilized lignins exhibited significant differences in polysaccharide content, molar mass distributions, aromatic monomer yield by thioacidolysis, and ?-aryl ether content. Key trends include a substantially higher polysaccharide content in the lignins recovered from the [Ch][Lys] pretreatment and high ?-aryl ether contents and aromatic monomer yields from the Cu-AHP pretreatment. For all lignins, the 13C NMR-determined ?-aryl ether content was shown to be correlated with the monomer yield with a second-order functionality. Conclusions:Overall, it was demonstrated that the three pretreatments highlighted in this study demonstrated uniquely different functionalities in reducing biomass recalcitrance and achieving higher enzymatic hydrolysis yields for the hybrid poplar while yielding a lignin-rich stream that may be suitable for valorization. Furthermore, modification of lignin during pretreatment, particularly cleavage of ?-aryl ether bonds, is shown to be detrimental to subsequent depolymerization.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Understanding the effects of pretreatment on anaerobic digestion of sludge waste from wastewater treatment plants is becoming increasingly important, as impetus moves towards the utilization of sludge for renewable energy production. Although the field of sludge pretreatment has progressed significantly over the past decade, critical questions concerning the underlying microbial interactions remain unanswered. In this study, a metagenomic approach was adopted to investigate the microbial composition and gene content contributing to enhanced biogas production from sludge subjected to a novel pretreatment method (maintaining pH at 10 for 8 days) compared to other documented methods (ultrasonic, thermal and thermal-alkaline). RESULTS:Our results showed that pretreated sludge attained a maximum methane yield approximately 4-fold higher than that of the blank un-pretreated sludge set-up at day 17. Both the microbial and metabolic consortium shifted extensively towards enhanced biodegradation subsequent to pretreatment, providing insight for the enhanced methane yield. The prevalence of Methanosaeta thermophila and Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus, together with the functional affiliation of enzymes-encoding genes suggested an acetoclastic and hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis pathway. Additionally, an alternative enzymology in Methanosaeta was observed. CONCLUSIONS:This study is the first to provide a microbiological understanding of improved biogas production subsequent to a novel waste sludge pretreatment method. The knowledge garnered will assist the design of more efficient pretreatment methods for biogas production in the future.
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:Effects of different pretreatment methods on sludge dewaterability and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) degradation during petrochemical sludge anaerobic digestion were studied. Results showed that the total biogas production volume in the thermal pretreatment system was 4 and 5 times higher than that in the ultrasound pretreatment and in the control system, and the corresponding volatile solid removal efficiencies reached 28%, 15%, and 8%. Phenanthrene, paranaphthalene, fluoranthene, benzofluoranthene, and benzopyrene removal rates reached 43.3%, 55.5%, 30.6%, 42.9%, and 41.7%, respectively, in the thermal pretreatment system, which were much higher than those in the ultrasound pretreatment and in the control system. Moreover, capillary suction time (CST) of sludge increased after pretreatment, and then reduced after 20 days of anaerobic digestion, indicating that sludge dewaterability was greatly improved after anaerobic digestion. The decrease of protein and polysaccharide in the sludge could improve sludge dewaterability during petrochemical sludge anaerobic digestion. This study suggested that thermal pretreatment might be a promising enhancement method for petrochemical sludge solubilization, thus contributing to degradation of the PAHs, biogas production, and improvement of dewaterability during petrochemical sludge anaerobic digestion.
Project description:The thermophilic anaerobic bacterium Clostridium thermocellum is a multifunctional ethanol producer, capable of both saccharification and fermentation, that is central to the consolidated bioprocessing (CBP) approach of converting lignocellulosic biomass to ethanol without external enzyme supplementation. Although CBP organisms have evolved efficient machinery for biomass deconstruction, achieving complete solubilization requires targeted approaches, such as pretreatment, to prepare recalcitrant biomass feedstocks for further biological digestion. Here, differences between how C. thermocellum and fungal cellulases respond to senescent switchgrass prepared by four different pretreatment techniques revealed relationships between biomass substrate composition and its digestion by the two biological approaches.Alamo switchgrass was pretreated using hydrothermal, dilute acid, dilute alkali, and co-solvent-enhanced lignocellulosic fractionation (CELF) pretreatments to produce solids with varying glucan, xylan, and lignin compositions. C. thermocellum achieved highest sugar release and metabolite production from de-lignified switchgrass prepared by CELF and dilute alkali pretreatments demonstrating greater resilience to the presence of hemicellulose sugars than fungal enzymes. 100% glucan solubilization and glucan plus xylan release from switchgrass were achieved using the CELF-CBP combination. Lower glucan solubilization and metabolite production by C. thermocellum was observed on solids prepared by dilute acid and hydrothermal pretreatments with higher xylan removal from switchgrass than lignin removal. Further, C. thermocellum (2% by volume inoculum) showed ~?48% glucan solubilization compared to <?10% through fungal enzymatic hydrolysis (15 and 65 mg protein/g glucan loadings) of unpretreated switchgrass indicating the effectiveness of C. thermocellum's cellulosome. Overall, C. thermocellum performed equivalent to 65 and better than 15 mg protein/g glucan fungal enzymatic hydrolysis on all substrates except CELF-pretreated substrates. CELF pretreatments of switchgrass produced solids that were highly digestible regardless of whether C. thermocellum or fungal enzymes were chosen.The unparalleled comprehensive nature of this work with a comparison of four pretreatment and two biological digestion techniques provides a strong platform for future integration of pretreatment with CBP. Lignin removal had a more positive impact on biological digestion of switchgrass than xylan removal from the biomass. However, the impact of switchgrass structural properties, including cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin characterization, would provide a better understanding of lignocellulose deconstruction.
Project description:Improvement of sludge dewaterability is important for reducing the total costs for the treatment and disposal of sludge in wastewater treatment plants. In this study, we investigate the use of hydrogen peroxide as an oxidizing reagent for the conditioning of waste activated sludge. Significant improvement to sludge dewaterability was attained after the addition of hydrogen peroxide at 30 mg/g TS and 28 mg/g TS under acidic conditions (pH = 3.0), with the highest reduction of capillary suction time being 68% and 56%, respectively, for sludge containing an iron concentration of 56 mg Fe/g TS and 25 mg Fe/g TS, respectively. The observations were due to Fenton reactions between the iron contained in sludge (indigenous iron) and hydrogen peroxide. For the sludge with an insufficient level of indigenous iron, the addition of ferrous chloride was found to be able to improve the sludge dewaterability. The results firstly indicated that indigenous iron can be utilized similarly as the externally supplied iron salt to improve sludge dewaterability through catalyzing the Fenton reactions.
Project description:The effect of Aso volcanic limonite was explored in anaerobic digestion using waste sewage sludge (WSS). In this study, methane and hydrogen sulfide were remarkably inhibited when Aso limonite was mixed with WSS as well as a significant reduction of ammonia. Although pH was lowered after adding Aso limonite, methane was still inhibited in neutralized pH condition at 7.0. Hydrolysis stage was not influenced by Aso limonite as supported by the result that a high protease activity was still detected in the presence of the material. However, acidogenesis stage was affected by Aso limonite as indicated by the different productions of organic acids. Acetic acid, was accumulated in the presence of Aso limonite due to the inhibition of methane production, except in the highest concentration of Aso limonite which the production of acetate may be inhibited. Besides, the production of propionate and butyrate reduced in accordance to the increased concentration of Aso limonite. In addition, Archaeal activity (methanogens) in WSS with Aso limonite was low in agreement with the low methane production. Thus, these results indicate that Aso limonite influences the acidogenesis and methanogenesis processes, by which the productions of methane and ammonia were inhibited. On the other hand, in the contactless of Aso limonite during the anaerobic digestion of WSS (Aso limonite was placed in the area of headspace in the vial), Aso limonite had the adsorptive ability for hydrogen sulfide from WSS, but not for methane. This contactless system of Aso limonite may be a practical means to remove hydrogen sulfide without inhibiting methane production as an important bioenergy source.