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Influence of Ultrasonication on Anaerobic Bioconversion of Sludge

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The influence of ultrasonication on hydrolysis, acidogenesis, and methanogenesis in anaerobic decomposition of sludge was investigated. The sonicated sludge exhibited prehydrolysis and preacidogenesis effects in the anaerobic decomposition process. First-order hydrolysis rates increased from 0.0384 day −1 in the control digester to 0.0672 day −1 in the digester fed, with sludge sonicated at 0.52 W/mL. The sonication appeared to be ineffective in relation to acidogenesis reaction rates, but it provided a better buffering capacity to diminish the adverse effect of acidification. Digesters fed with sonicated sludge demonstrated enhanced methanogenesis over the control unit. Determination by coenzyme F420 verified that sonication is able to promote the growth of methanogenic biomass and facilitate a positive methanogenic microbial development in suppressing the initial methanogenesis limitation. The results suggest that ultrasonication could enhance anaerobic decomposition of sludge, resulting in an accelerated bioconversion, improved organics degradation, improved biogas production, and increased methane content.

Keywords: acidogenesis; anaerobic digestion; hydrolysis; methanogenesis; sludge; sonication

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2007

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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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