Preliminary evaluation of biosolids characteristics for anaerobic membrane reactors treating municipal wastewaters

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

This study assessed the characteristics of biosolids of a pilot-scale anaerobic membrane bioreactor (AnMBR) treating municipal wastewater. The production of total solids (TS) and volatile solids (VS) was comparable to that reported for the extended aeration system at solids residence time (SRT) longer than 40 days. The yields of TS and VS were reduced as SRT increased from 40 to 100 days and increased with the addition of 26 mg/L of FeCl3. The AnMBR destroyed 60–82% of the VS loading in feed wastewater and hence it was concluded the biosolids met the requirements for vector attraction reduction for land application. The concentrations of volatile suspended solids and total suspended solids in the sludge were less than those reported after anaerobic digestion of conventional primary and secondary sludge mixtures, and hence dewatering of the waste stream may be required for some applications. The nutrient content in terms of total Kjeldahl nitrogen and total phosphorus was similar to that of anaerobically digested municipal sludges. The dewaterability of the biosolids was poorer than that reported for sludges from aerobic treatment and anaerobically digested sludges. Dewaterability was improved by addition of FeCl3 and reduced SRT. The biosolids met standards for land application with regards to the concentration of heavy metals but would need further treatment to meet Class B pathogen indicator criteria.

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