Co-digestion of press liquids of source-sorted municipal organic waste in anaerobic sludge treatment of municipal wastewater treatment plants

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

This paper describes a semi-continuous laboratory-scale investigation of a potential co-substrate for mesophilic anaerobic sludge digestion in a municipal wastewater treatment plant. A feed liquid produced from source-sorted municipal organic waste by pretreatment with a screw press was subjected to the investigation. Quantities produced in press trials as well as the composition of the feed liquid are presented. Mass balances for N, P and chemical oxygen demand are given in order to verify the methane production of the feed liquid in co-digestion with sewage sludge at mesophilic conditions. Hydraulic retention time of the reactors were 14.7 to 16 d and organic loading rates were 1.5 to 2.7 kg volatile solids (VS) per cubic metre per day. The pretreatment by screw press is compared to the production of feed liquids with pulper-based pretreatment processes. While the addition of the feed liquid increased methane production by about 345 ml CH4/g VSin, total solids of the feed liquid were reduced to about 63%. With respect to co-digestion at municipal wastewater treatment plants, several risks associated with the investigated feed liquid are outlined.

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