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Effect of Varying Solids Concentration and Organic Loading on the Performance of Temperature Phased Anaerobic Digestion Process

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The effect of varying total solids (TS) and volatile solids (VS) concentrations and organic loading on the performance of a temperature phased anaerobic digestion (TPAD) system treating a mixture of primary and waste activated sludges was evaluated. An optimum volatile solids destruction of 61.5% occurred at a feed concentration of 4.9% (corresponding to 3.8% VS concentration) in the system operated at a total detention time of 20 days. At a total solids concentration of 7.9% (5.8% VS concentration), the volatile solids destruction efficiency dropped to 52.5%. At all conditions (4.4 to 7.9% TS) the TPAD system was able to meet the requirements for Class A biosolids, including those for fecal coliform and volatile solids destruction. The effluent fecal coliform concentration never exceeded 628 most probable number (MPN)/g TS. Thermophilic biomass activity tests were run on both the thermophilic (55 °C) and the mesophilic (35 °C) sludge. Biomass from the thermophilic reactor showed much greater activity at 55 °C than at 35 °C. However, significant activity was still present when the test was run at 35 °C. Activity tests completed on samples from the mesophilic reactor also had high activities at 55 °C, sometimes equal to the activity of the thermophilic biomass. These results suggest that the bacterial consortia in the TPAD system may be temperature-tolerant and not necessarily two distinct communities with two distinct temperature regimes as had been previously assumed.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2002-03-01

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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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