Large amounts of wet sludge are produced annually in municipal and industrial wastewater treatment. Already in pulp and paper industry, more than ten million tons of primary sludge, waste activated sludge, and de-inking sludge is generated. Waste activated sludge contains large quantities of bound water, which is difficult to dewater. Low water content would be a matter of high calorific value in incineration but it also has effects on the volume and the quality of the matter to be handled in sludge disposal. In this research waste activated sludges from different pulp and paper mills were chemically characterised and dewatered. Correlations of chemical composition and dewatering properties were determined using multivariate analysis. Chemical characterisation included basic sludge analysis, elementary analysis and analysis of wood-based components, such as hemicelluloses and lignin-derived material. Dewatering properties were determined using measurements of dry solids content, flux and flocculant dosage. The effects of different variables varied according to the response concerned. The variables which were significant regarding cake DS increase in filtration or centrifugation and flocculant dosage needed in filtration were different from those which were significant regarding flux.
Keywords: characterisation, dewatering, pulp and paper industry, sludge, wood-based components