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Assessing the Nonbiodegradable Fraction of the Thickened Waste Activated Sludge

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In this study, the feasibility of using three methods to estimate the nonbiodegradable fraction of five thickened waste activated sludge (TWAS) samples was evaluated using long-term biochemical methane potential tests at four substrate to biomass ratios. The nonbiodegradable fraction was calculated based on the remaining volatile suspended solids (VSS), remaining total chemical oxygen demand (TCOD), and remaining total organic carbon (TOC). It was evident that the nonbiodegradable fraction of TWAS ranged from 12 to 27%. The average nonbiodegradable fractions of TWAS were 21, 18, and 23% based on remaining VSS, TCOD, and TOC, respectively. The proposed method can be potentially used to characterize biosolids for design and modeling anaerobic treatment processes.
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Keywords: anaerobic biodegradability; anaerobic digestion; biochemical methane potential; biosolids; nonbiodegradable fraction; thickened waste activated sludge

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1

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