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Wastewater agencies particularly in North America and Europe are responding to a variety of pressures for improved anaerobic digestion performance on municipal wastewater sludges. Improved performance in sludge digestion is taking many forms, and this paper concentrates on advanced digestion staging and phasing options as well as high-temperature (thermophilic) digestion processes. This paper reviews these staging, phasing, and thermophilic options by presenting and evaluating data for operating facilities and pilot programs which have developed sufficient data to utilize in performance assessment work. The evaluation is conducted in the following four categories:

Staged mesophilic digestion

Temperature phased digestion

Acid/Gas phased digestion

Staged thermophilic digestion

The work utilizes data from published sources as well as data and information directly from the treatment plants involved. Site sites to facilities were largely used to gather data — both facilities in North America and Germany were visited. The work concentrates on digestion performance and process issues more than pathogen control and Class A biosolids issues. Primary performance comparison tools are volatile solids reduction (VSR) and solids retention time (SRT).

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2000

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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