Skip to main content

Using a Pulsed Electric Field as a Pretreatment for Improved Biosolids Digestion and Methanogenesis

The full text article is not available for purchase.

The publisher only permits individual articles to be downloaded by subscribers.

or click here to sign up for a free trial


We tested the ability of a pulsed electric field (PEF) technology to enhance solubilization of organic material in waste activated sludge (WAS) and pig manure, with the goal of making it more bioavailable for methane production during subsequent anaerobic digestion. We varied PEF operating parameters across an approximately 10-fold range, showing the influence that the amount of treatment has on solubilization, as measured by soluble chemical oxygen demand (SCOD), and methane production, as gauged by the biochemical methane potential. Once PEF treatment exceeded a threshold, SCOD increased by an order of magnitude (to over 1000 mg/L), which resulted in a doubling of methane production for WAS. We obtained similar findings for pig manure, with SCOD increasing 3-fold due to PEF pretreatment and methane production increasing by 80%. These results support that PEF pretreatment before anaerobic digestion can significantly improve digester performance, resulting in added methane production and decreased residual biosolids.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • 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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

    WEF Members: Sign in (right panel) with your IngentaConnect user name and password to receive complimentary access.
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • About WEF Proceedings
  • WEFTEC Conference Information
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Partial Open Access Content
Partial Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more