The feasibility of ammonia pre-separation during the thermal-alkaline pretreatment (TAP) of waste activated sludge was evaluated to mitigate ammonia inhibition during high solid anaerobic digestion (HSAD). The results showed that the TAP increased the organics hydrolysis rate as much as 77% compared to the thermal hydrolysis pretreatment (THP). The production and separation of the ammonia during the TAP exhibited a linear relationship with the hydrolysis of organics and the Emerson model. The pre-separation ratio of the free ammonia nitrogen exceeded 98.00% at a lime dosage exceeding 0.021 g CaO/g TS. However, the separation ratio of the total ammonia nitrogen (TAN) was hindered by its production ratio. Compared to the THP, the TAP increased the methane production rate under similar production yield. A mass flow analysis indicated that the TAP-HSAD process reduced the volume of the digester compared to the THP-HSAD process and the recirculated HSAD-TAP process recovered 45% of the nitrogen in the waste activated sludge.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecological Modelling
- Water Science and Technology
- Waste Management and Disposal