The influence of decreased hydraulic retention time on the performance and stability of co-digestion of sewage sludge with grease trap sludge and organic fraction of municipal waste.


:The effect of hydraulic retention time ranging from 12 to 20 d on process performance and stability was investigated in two anaerobic completely stirred tank reactors with a working liquid volume equal to 6 litres. The reactors were fed with mixtures containing (on volatile solids basis): 40% of sewage sludge, 30% of organic fraction of municipal waste and 30% of grease trap sludge. The change of hydraulic retention time did not significantly affect process stability. However, methane yields as well as volatile solids removal decreased from 0.54 to 0.47 l per kg of added volatile solids and 65% to 60% respectively, with the decrease of hydraulic retention time. Despite the fact that the best process performance was achieved for hydraulic retention time of 20 days, the obtained results showed that it is also possible to carry out the co-digestion process at shorter hydraulic retention times with good results. Furthermore, gas production rate as well as biogas production at the shortest hydraulic retention time were approximately 46% higher in comparison to results obtained at the longest hydraulic retention time. In this context, the proposed solution seems to be an interesting option, because it provides an unique opportunity for wastewater treatment plants to improve their profitability by enhancing energy recovery from sludge as well as full utilisation of the existing infrastructure and hence creates a new potential place for alternative treatment of organic industrial waste such as: fat-rich materials or food waste. However, implementation of the solution at wastewater treatment plants is still a big challenge and needs studies including identification of optimal digesting conditions, information about substrate pumping, inhibition thresholds and processing properties. Additionally, due to the characteristics of both co-substrates their introduction to the full-scale digester should be carefully planned due to a potential risk of overloading of the digester. For this reason, a gradual increase of the share of these wastes in the co-digestion mixture is highly recommended, because it will allow for the acclimatization of bacteria as well as prevent overloading. The results of this study show the importance of gradual acclimatization of microorganisms to the changing environmental conditions. It was found that concentration of long chain fatty acids in effluents increased with the reduction of hydraulic retention time, but this phenomenon did not significantly influence the performance and stability of the process probably due to changes hydraulic retention time being gradual. Although for palmitic acid a moderate negative correlation with volatile solids removal was observed.


J Environ Manage


Grosser A




Has Abstract


2017-12-01 00:00:00




Pt 3










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