Predicting the degradability of waste activated sludge.

Water environment research : a research publication of the Water Environment Federation

PubMedID: 19774853

Jones R, Parker W, Zhu H, Houweling D, Murthy S. Predicting the degradability of waste activated sludge. Water Environ Res. 2009;81(8):765-71.
The objective of this study was to identify methods for estimating anaerobic digestibility of waste activated sludge (WAS). The WAS streams were generated in three sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) treating municipal wastewater. The wastewater and WAS properties were initially determined through simulation of SBR operation with BioWin (EnviroSim Associates Ltd., Flamborough, Ontario, Canada). Samples of WAS from the SBRs were subsequently characterized through respirometry and batch anaerobic digestion. Respirometry was an effective tool for characterizing the active fraction of WAS and could be a suitable technique for determining sludge composition for input to anaerobic models. Anaerobic digestion of the WAS revealed decreasing methane production and lower chemical oxygen demand removals as the SRT of the sludge increased. BioWin was capable of accurately describing the digestion of the WAS samples for typical digester SRTs. For extended digestion times (i.e., greater than 30 days), some degradation of the endogenous decay products was assumed to achieve accurate simulations for all sludge SRTs.