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Enhancement of Batch Waste Activated Sludge Digestion by Microwave Pretreatment

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Batch anaerobic digesters were used to stabilize microwave (MW)-irradiated waste activated sludge (WAS). A low temperature range (50–96 °C) MW irradiation was applied. Effects of pretreatment temperature (T) and intensity (I), concentration (C) and percentage of sludge pretreated (PT) were investigated in a multilevel factorial statistical design containing 54 mesophilic batch reactors by monitoring cumulative biogas production (CBP). Variance analysis (ANOVA) determined that the most important factors affecting WAS solubilization were temperature, intensity, and sludge concentration. Improvements in CBP from WAS were significantly affected by sludge percentage pretreated, temperature, and concentration. Pretreatment resulted in 3.6 ± 0.6 and 3.2 ± 0.1 fold increases in soluble to total chemical oxygen demand (SCOD/TCOD) at high and low sludge concentrations, respectively. WAS, microwaved to 96 °C, produced the greatest improvement in CBP with 15 ± 0.5 and 20 ± 0.3% increases over controls after 19 d of digestion at low and high WAS concentrations. Dewaterability of microwaved sludge was enhanced after anaerobic digestion.

Keywords: BMP; anaerobic batch sludge digestion; microwave; pretreatment; solubilization

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2007-10-01

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    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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