Focused-Pulsed Treatment of Waste Activated Sludge: Application to Waste Biosolids Reduction and Increased Methane Production

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This work investigated the application of Focused Pulsed pretreatment on the subsequent anaerobic digestion of a mixture of primary and waste activated sludge. We present results from a full-scale application of the technology. Focused Pulsed treatment resulted in significant solubilization of COD and other components from the sludge; treatment was effective on a continuous basis at full scale. After four months of continuous operation, Focused Pulsed treatment achieved two major benefits: 1) Increased utilization of the treated material in downstream anaerobic digestion processes, resulting in a significant reduction in waste biosolids requiring disposal; and 2) Improved conversion of treated material to methane, increasing the potential net energy capture from the biosolids. In addition, the relatively low energy requirements of the technology result in significant economic benefits from sludge pretreatment. On-going work is focused on further quantifying these operating and economic benefits, as well as verifying an additional benefit from the significant reduction of fecal coliform counts following treatment.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2008

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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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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