Co-Conditioning of the Anaerobic Digested Sludge of a Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant with Alum Sludge: Benefit of Phosphorus Reduction in Reject Water

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Abstract:

In this study, alum sludge was introduced to co-conditioning and dewatering with an anaerobic digested sludge from a municipal wastewater treatment plant, to examine the role of the alum sludge in improving the dewaterbility of the mixed sludge and also in immobilizing phosphorus in the reject water. Experiments have demonstrated that the optimal mix ratio for the two sludges is 2:1 (anaerobic digested sludge:alum sludge; volume basis), and this can bring approximately 99% phosphorus reduction in the reject water through the adsorption of phosphorus by alum in the sludge. The phosphorus loading in wastewater treatment plants is itself derived from the recycling of reject water during the wastewater treatment process. Consequently, this co-conditioning and dewatering strategy can achieve a significant reduction in phosphorus loading in wastewater treatment plants. In addition, the use of the alum sludge has been shown to beneficially enhance the dewaterability of the resultant mixed sludge, by decreasing both the specific resistance to filtration and the capillary suction time. This is attributed to the alum sludge acting in charge neutralization and/or as adsorbent for phosphate in the aqueous phase of the sludge. Experiments have also demonstrated that the optimal polymer (Superfloc C2260, Cytec, Botlek, Netherlands) dose for the anaerobic digested sludge was 120 mg/L, while the optimal dose for the mixed sludge (mix ratio 2:1) was 15 mg/L, highlighting a huge savings in polymer addition. Therefore, from the technical perspective, the co-conditioning and dewatering strategy can be viewed as a “win-win” situation. However, for its full-scale application, integrated cost-effective analysis of process capabilities, sludge transport, increased cake disposal, additional administration, polymer saving, and so on, should be factored in.
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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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