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This paper reports on two modifications to the typical practice of polymer conditioning intended to enhance the dewaterability of autothermal thermophilic aerobic digested (ATAD) biosolids. One modification was a chemical pretreatment, using ferric chloride prior to polymer conditioning,
and the other was a physical pretreatment using an electrical arc technology before polymer addition. These modifications were evaluated separately and in combination, in laboratory conditioning experiments using ATAD biosolids. Results showed that neither ferric chloride nor the arc treatment
is sufficient to produce dewaterable biosolids without the use of polymer. However, use of a ferric chloride dose as low as 100 g per kg of dry solids reduced the polymer requirement by about 50%. The arc treatment provided further enhancement of dewaterability, but the observed benefits
might not justify its use without further optimization. For this purpose, additional methods were utilized to assist in understanding the pretreatment mechanisms. Further full-scale testing of ferric iron addition and electrical arc treatment is recommended for ATAD biosolids dewaterability
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