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Fate of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons during anaerobic digestion of municipal wastewater sludges

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The fate of six polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons during anaerobic digestion of municipal sludges was investigated in a two-stage pilot-scale digester system. Primary digester removal efficiencies ranged from 23% for acenaphthene to 62% for acenaphthylene; secondary digester removal efficiencies ranged from 22% for acenaphthylene to 42% for phenanthrene. Most of the remaining mass of candidate compounds was present in the secondary digester waste sludge stream. Less than 2.5% of the candidate compounds entering the digestion system was present in the secondary digester supernatant. A dynamic model of the primary digester incorporating mixed first-order biodegradation kinetics was calibrated for each of the candidate compounds. The biodegradation rate coefficients that were estimated for the primary digester ranged from 0.004 L/g·d for acenaphthene to 0.16 L/g·d for acenaphthylene. The biodegradation rate coefficient for acenaphthene did not significantly differ from zero.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/106143095X133293

Publication date: November 1, 1995

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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