Abstract

Primary sludge (PS) is a renewable and sustainable energy source, but pretreatment often is required to accelerate hydrolysis of organic solids. Pulsed electric field (PEF) treatment has been proven effective for waste activated sludge (WAS), but its impact on PS is not known. We evaluated the impacts of PEF pretreatment of PS on energy recovery by methanogenesis and fermentation to volatile fatty acids (VFAs). PEF treatment achieved successful microbial inactivation of PS and it modestly enhanced conversion of PS chemical oxygen demand to methane (by ∼8%) and to VFAs by fermentation (by ∼7%) by increasing hydrolysis rates. Thus, the impact of PEF treatment was small for PS alone, compared to the much more significant increases in methane conversion from WAS or WAS+PS. This difference points to the value of optimizing ratios of PS:WAS for PEF treatment, whether the goal is methanogenesis or fermentation to VFAs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)831-837
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Engineering Science
Volume32
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015

Fingerprint

bioavailability
electric field
Volatile fatty acids
sludge
Electric fields
Volatile Fatty Acids
Fermentation
Methane
activated sludge
energy
Hydrolysis
fermentation
fatty acid
methanogenesis
Chemical oxygen demand
hydrolysis
methane
effect
Biological Availability
Recovery

Keywords

  • fermentation
  • hydrolysis
  • methanogenesis
  • pretreatment
  • primary sludge
  • volatile fatty acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Environmental Chemistry

Cite this

Effect of pulsed electric field pretreatment on primary sludge for enhanced bioavailability and energy capture. / Ki, Dongwon; Parameswaran, Prathap; Rittmann, Bruce; Torres, Cesar.

In: Environmental Engineering Science, Vol. 32, No. 10, 01.10.2015, p. 831-837.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Ki, Dongwon

AU - Parameswaran, Prathap

AU - Rittmann, Bruce

AU - Torres, Cesar

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Y1 - 2015/10/1

N2 - Primary sludge (PS) is a renewable and sustainable energy source, but pretreatment often is required to accelerate hydrolysis of organic solids. Pulsed electric field (PEF) treatment has been proven effective for waste activated sludge (WAS), but its impact on PS is not known. We evaluated the impacts of PEF pretreatment of PS on energy recovery by methanogenesis and fermentation to volatile fatty acids (VFAs). PEF treatment achieved successful microbial inactivation of PS and it modestly enhanced conversion of PS chemical oxygen demand to methane (by ∼8%) and to VFAs by fermentation (by ∼7%) by increasing hydrolysis rates. Thus, the impact of PEF treatment was small for PS alone, compared to the much more significant increases in methane conversion from WAS or WAS+PS. This difference points to the value of optimizing ratios of PS:WAS for PEF treatment, whether the goal is methanogenesis or fermentation to VFAs.

AB - Primary sludge (PS) is a renewable and sustainable energy source, but pretreatment often is required to accelerate hydrolysis of organic solids. Pulsed electric field (PEF) treatment has been proven effective for waste activated sludge (WAS), but its impact on PS is not known. We evaluated the impacts of PEF pretreatment of PS on energy recovery by methanogenesis and fermentation to volatile fatty acids (VFAs). PEF treatment achieved successful microbial inactivation of PS and it modestly enhanced conversion of PS chemical oxygen demand to methane (by ∼8%) and to VFAs by fermentation (by ∼7%) by increasing hydrolysis rates. Thus, the impact of PEF treatment was small for PS alone, compared to the much more significant increases in methane conversion from WAS or WAS+PS. This difference points to the value of optimizing ratios of PS:WAS for PEF treatment, whether the goal is methanogenesis or fermentation to VFAs.

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