IWA Publishing

Sewage sludge solubilization by high-pressure homogenization

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The behavior of sludge solubilization using high-pressure homogenization (HPH) treatment was examined by investigating the sludge solid reduction and organics solubilization. The sludge volatile suspended solids (VSS) decreased from 10.58 to 6.67 g/L for the sludge sample with a total solids content (TS) of 1.49% after HPH treatment at a homogenization pressure of 80 MPa with four homogenization cycles; total suspended solids (TSS) correspondingly decreased from 14.26 to 9.91 g/L. About 86.15% of the TSS reduction was attributed to the VSS reduction. The increase of homogenization pressure from 20 to 80 MPa or homogenization cycle number from 1 to 4 was favorable to the sludge organics solubilization, and the protein and polysaccharide solubilization linearly increased with the soluble chemical oxygen demand (SCOD) solubilization. More proteins were solubilized than polysaccharides. The linear relationship between SCOD solubilization and VSS reduction had no significant change under different homogenization pressures, homogenization cycles and sludge solid contents. The SCOD of 1.65 g/L was solubilized for the VSS reduction of 1.00 g/L for the three experimental sludge samples with a TS of 1.00, 1.49 and 2.48% under all HPH operating conditions. The energy efficiency results showed that the HPH treatment at a homogenization pressure of 30 MPa with a single homogenization cycle for the sludge sample with a TS of 2.48% was the most energy efficient.

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