Anaerobic digestion (AD) represents a suitable option for the management of the wasteactivated sludge (WAS) produced in municipal wastewater treatment plants. Nevertheless, due to its complex characteristics, WAS is often barely degradable under conventional anaerobic processes. The use of conductive materials during AD provides a promising route for enhancingWAS digestion, through the effects of direct inter-species electron transfer (DIET). The present paper aims to evaluate the effects of the addition of four different materials-granular activated carbon (GAC), granular iron, and aluminium and steel scrap powders-in semi-continuous lab-scale reactors under very high volatile fatty acids-to-alkalinity ratios. In particular, the use of metallic aluminium in WAS digestion was investigated for the first time and compared to the other materials. The AD ofWAS without the addition of conductive materials was impossible, while the use of steel powder and zero-valent iron is shown not to improve the digestion process in a satisfactory way. On the contrary, both GAC and Al allow for effective WAS degradation. At stable conditions, methane yields of about 230 NmLCH4/gVS and 212 NmLCH4/gVS are recorded for GAC- and Al-amended reactors, respectively. These two materials are the most promising in sustainingWAS AD through DIET also in case of unbalanced volatile fatty acids-to-alkalinity ratios.

Enhancement of anaerobic digestion ofwaste-activated sludge by conductive materials under high volatile fatty acids-to-alkalinity ratios

Fazzino F.;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Anaerobic digestion (AD) represents a suitable option for the management of the wasteactivated sludge (WAS) produced in municipal wastewater treatment plants. Nevertheless, due to its complex characteristics, WAS is often barely degradable under conventional anaerobic processes. The use of conductive materials during AD provides a promising route for enhancingWAS digestion, through the effects of direct inter-species electron transfer (DIET). The present paper aims to evaluate the effects of the addition of four different materials-granular activated carbon (GAC), granular iron, and aluminium and steel scrap powders-in semi-continuous lab-scale reactors under very high volatile fatty acids-to-alkalinity ratios. In particular, the use of metallic aluminium in WAS digestion was investigated for the first time and compared to the other materials. The AD ofWAS without the addition of conductive materials was impossible, while the use of steel powder and zero-valent iron is shown not to improve the digestion process in a satisfactory way. On the contrary, both GAC and Al allow for effective WAS degradation. At stable conditions, methane yields of about 230 NmLCH4/gVS and 212 NmLCH4/gVS are recorded for GAC- and Al-amended reactors, respectively. These two materials are the most promising in sustainingWAS AD through DIET also in case of unbalanced volatile fatty acids-to-alkalinity ratios.
2021
Alkalinity
Aluminium
Anaerobic digestion
Granular activated carbon
Waste-activated sludge
Zero-valent iron
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/561544
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