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Evaluation of Surrogates for Anaerobic Digestion Processes

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Frequent monitoring of anaerobic digestion processes for pathogen destruction is both cost and time prohibitive. To evaluate surrogates for pathogens that are rapidly measured (approximately 24 hours), two semi-batch bench-scale anaerobic digesters were operated under mesophilic (36°C) and thermophilic (53-55°C) conditions with a 15 day solids retention time. The concentrations of U.S. EPA regulated pathogens and surrogate organisms were measured at different time points throughout the project. Four series of experiments were performed, each using solids from a different facility or in a different season. The levels and rates of inactivation of the surrogates were compared against those of the regulated pathogens. Results indicate that male-specific coliphages were a potential surrogate organisms for virus inactivation. None of the tested surrogate organisms correlated well with helminth inactivation under the conditions studied.

Keywords: Anaerobic digestion; Biosolids; Clostridium; Coliphage; Helminth; Indicator; Salmonella; Surrogate; enteric virus; enterococci

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2011-01-01

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