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Odors produced from biosolids have become an increasing problem and are often cited as a significant concern by many wastewater treatment plant operations. Public sensitivity to the beneficial reuse of malodorous biosolids has grown substantially and the pressure to produce a material with low odor potential has increased correspondingly. Recent research has shown that the generation of malodorous compounds – principally reduced sulfur compounds – in anaerobically digested, high-solids centrifuge dewatered biosolids is pronounced following storage under anaerobic conditions. Bench studies have shown that with further storage, these compounds are metabolized by methanogens (strict anaerobes) and odors are attenuated; however, prior to the present research, no full-scale studies have been performed to confirm the practical significance of this finding. The practice of storing biosolids under conditions designed for temperature moderation, maintenance of anaerobic conditions and minimal interaction with the environment is characterized as a static, non-aerated curing process. The goal of this study undertaken by the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) was to carefully store and monitor dewatered centrifuge cake in a large pile under controlled static, non-aerated curing conditions. To fulfill this goal, a 500 ton pile designed to promote static, non-aerated curing was constructed outdoors in January of 2005 and stored for 6 months prior to land application. The results from this study demonstrated that the bench-scale studies replicated field-scale odor generation profiles from static, non-aerated curing piles. Long term storage, with appropriate monitoring, appears to be a viable method to reduce odors prior to land application of biosolids.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193864706783797195

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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