Techno-economic evaluation of the application of ozone-oxidation in a full-scale aerobic digestion plant.

Chemosphere

PubMedID: 23384542

Chiavola A, D'Amato E, Gori R, Lubello C, Sirini P. Techno-economic evaluation of the application of ozone-oxidation in a full-scale aerobic digestion plant. Chemosphere. 2013;91(5):656-62.
This paper deals with the application of the ozone-oxidation in a full scale aerobic sludge digester. Ozonation was applied continuously to a fraction of the biological sludge extracted from the digestion unit; the ozonated sludge was then recirculated to the same digester. Three different ozone flow rates were tested (60,500 and 670g O3 h(-1)) and their effects evaluated in terms of variation of the total and soluble fractions of COD, nitrogen and phosphorous, of total and volatile suspended solids concentrations and Sludge Volume Index in the aerobic digestion unit. During the 7-month operation of the ozonation process, it was observed an appreciable improvement of the aerobic digestion efficiency (up to about 20% under the optimal conditions) and of the sludge settleability properties. These results determined an average reduction of about 60% in the biological sludge extracted from the plant and delivered to final disposal. A thorough economic analysis showed that this reduction allowed to achieve a significant cost saving for the plant with respect to the previous years operated without ozonation. Furthermore, it was determined the threshold disposal cost above which implementation of the ozone oxidation in the aerobic digestion units of similar WWTPs becomes economically convenient (about 60€t(-1) of sludge).