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

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Abstract:

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

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193864708788733675

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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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