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Effects of Irradiation Intensity and pH on Nutrients Release and Solids Destruction of Waste Activated Sludge Using the Microwave-Enhanced Advanced Oxidation Process

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Using the microwave-enhanced advanced oxidation process (MW/H2O2-AOP), the pH and irradiation intensity on waste activated sludge samples were investigated to provide insight to the athermal effects on nutrients release, solids destruction, particle size distribution and dewaterability, and to demonstrate their interrelationships. Carbonaceous matters and nutrients released into solution depended on the irradiation intensity and time. Higher irradiation levels tended to be more effective in the solubilization of nutrients and had more pronounced effects in the dewaterability of sludge. In terms of particle size distribution, detectable particles increased in size for treatments in acidic conditions, while the dewaterability of treated sludge was improved. In treatments under neutral and alkaline conditions, the particle size range increased, with more small particles formed, thereby significantly deteriorating the dewaterability of sludge treated in alkaline conditions. The best results for the solubilization of nutrients were in alkaline conditions with high irradiation power, but dewaterability of the sludge was compromised. Sludge treatment with the MW/H2O2-AOP in acidic conditions with high irradiation power yielded the best dewaterable sludge and significant nutrient solubilization; therefore, it is the recommended treatment condition for activated sludge.

Keywords: advanced oxidation process; dewaterability; microwave; nutrients release; particle size; solids destruction; wastewater sludge

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2010

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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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