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Aerobic thermophilic pretreatment of mixed sludge for pathogen reduction and Nocardia control

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Abstract:

Pilot scale experiments have been conducted to investigate the use of aerobic thermophilic pretreatment (ATP) of mixed (waste activated and primary) sludge before mesophilic anaerobic digestion to meet Class A sludge pathogen control requirements. The ability of ATP to control Nocardia present in the waste activated sludge, and hence prevent foaming in the subsequent anaerobic digestion, was also investigated. Aerobic thermophilic pretreatment of mixed sludge before anaerobic digestion was able to produce sludge that can meet the following Class A pathogen reduction requirements: fecal coliform density <1 000 MPN/g total solids or Salmonella sp. density <3 MPN/4 g total solids; time and temperature requirements (1.8 hr at 63°C); enteric virus density <1 PFU/4 g total solids; and vector attraction requirement (>38% volatile solids reduction). ATP was able to control Nocardia to below detectable levels, whereas the Nocardia levels in the control anaerobic digester were ≥105 intersections/g VSS when both were fed mixed sludge containing Nocardia filament counts in excess of 105 intersections/g VSS. The ATP system was also able to produce higher volatile solids (VS) reduction, higher methane content in sludge gas, and lower sludge supernatant COD when compared with those achieved in the control anaerobic digester.

Keywords: AEROBIC PRETREATMENT; FOAMING; NOCARDIA; PATHOGENS; SLUDGE; THERMOPHILIC

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/106143096X128117

Publication date: November 1, 1996

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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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