Odor emissions and sludge disposals have become most challenging issues in many sludge treatment plants, and separate chemical oxidation processes have been commonly employed for these problems. It is, therefore, necessary to develop a combined process that simultaneously reduces the odor emissions and the amount of waste sludge. In this study, a non-thermal plasma reactor using a dielectric barrier discharge type was employed to treat a gas stream contaminated with 10 ppmv of H2S, and then the ozone-laden gas stream was supplied to a sludge stabilizer to reduce the organic constituents. The specific energy input to the plasma was varied to investigate the performance of the combined process. When the specific energy inputs were 200, 260, and 360 J/L, the rates of ozone generation from the plasma reactor were 0.036, 0.070, 0.144 g-O3/h, respectively. At these experimental conditions, the removal efficiencies of H2S were 60, 75, and >99%, and total chemical oxygen demand (TCOD) reduction efficiencies of 33, 61 and 67% were observed. In addition, a soluble organic fraction of the sludge increased at ratios of 1.9, 8.9, and 10.7%, respectively. Consequently, the combined process effectively and simultaneously reduced the odor compounds as well as the organic constituents and particles in the waste sludge.
Keywords: non-thermal plasma, odor, ozone, sludge