Focused-Pulsed Treatment of Waste Activated Sludge: Application to waste Biosolids Reduction and Increased Methane Production

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Courtesy of Water Environment Federation (WEF)

ABSTRACT

This work investigated the application of Focused Pulsed pretreatment on the subsequent anaerobic digestion of a mixture of primary and waste activated sludge. We present results from laboratory, pilot, and full-scale applications of the technology. In all cases, Focused Pulsed treatment resulted in significant solubilization of COD and other components from the sludge; treatment was effective on a continuous basis at pilot and full scale. Focused Pulsed treatment achieved two major benefits: 1) Increased utilization of the treated material in downstream processes, resulting in a significant reduction in waste biosolids requiring disposal; and 2) Improved conversion of treated material to methane, increasing the potential net energy capture from the biosolids. On-going work is focused on quantifying these operating and economic benefits, as well as verifying an additional benefit from the significant reduction of fecal coliform counts following treatment.

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