Improving products of anaerobic sludge digestion by microaeration

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Biogas, digested sludge and sludge liquor are the main products of anaerobic sludge digestion. Each of the products is influenced significantly by specific conditions of the digestion process. Therefore, any upgrade of the digestion technology must be considered with regard to quality changes in all products. Microaeration is one of the methods used for the improvement of biogas quality. Recently, microaeration has been proved to be a relatively simple and highly efficient biological method of sulfide removal in the anaerobic digestion of biosolids, but little attention has been paid to comparing the quality of digested sludge and sludge liquor in the anaerobic and microaerobic digestion and that is why this paper primarily deals with this area of research. The results of the long-term monitoring of digested sludge quality and sludge liquor quality in the anaerobic and microaerobic digesters suggest that products of both technologies are comparable. However, there are several parameters in which the ‘microaerobic’ products have a significantly better quality such as: sulfide (68% lower) and soluble chemical oxygen demand (COD) (33% lower) concentrations in the sludge liquor and the lower foaming potential of the digested sludge.

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