Enhancement of thermophilic anaerobic digestion of thickened waste activated sludge by combined microwave and alkaline pretreatment

Yongzhi Chi, Yuyou Li, Xuening Fei, Shaopo Wang, Hongying Yuan

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48 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Pretreatment of thickened waste activated sludge (TWAS) by combined microwave and alkaline pretreatment (MAP) was studied to improve thermophilic anaerobic digestion efficiency. Uniform design was applied to determine the combination of target temperature (110-210°C), microwave holding time (1-51 min), and NaOH dose (0-2.5 g NaOH/g suspended solids (SS)) in terms of their effect on volatile suspended solids (VSS) solubilization. Maximum solubilization ratio (85.1%) of VSS was observed at 210°C with 0.2 g-NaOH/g-SS and 35 min holding time. The effects of 12 different pretreatment methods were investigated in 28 thermophilic batch reactors by monitoring cumulative methane production (CMP). Improvements in methane production in the TWAS were directly related to the microwave and alkaline pretreatment of the sludge. The highest CMP was a 27% improvement over the control. In spite of the increase in soluble chemical oxygen demand concentration and the decrease in dewaterability of digested sludge, a semi-continuous thermophilic reactor fed with pretreated TWAS without neutralization (at 170°C with 1 min holding time and 0.05 g NaOH/g SS) was stable and functioned well, with volatile solid (VS) and total chemical oxygen demand (TCOD) reductions of 28% and 18%, respectively, which were higher than those of the control system. Additionally, methane yields (L@STP/g-COD added, at standard temperature and pressure (STP) conditions of 0°C and 101.325 kPa) and (L@STP/g VS added) increased by 17% and 13%, respectively, compared to the control reactor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1257-1265
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Environmental Sciences
Volume23
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Aug

Keywords

  • Alkaline pretreatment
  • Microwave pretreatment
  • Thermophilic anaerobic digestion
  • Thickened waste activated sludge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)

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