IWA Publishing

IWA Publishing

Sludge electrooxidation as pre-treatment for anaerobic digestion


Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Anaerobic digestion of wastewater sludge is the preferred method for sludge treatment as it produces energy in the form of biogas as well as a stabilised product that may be land applied. Different pre-treatments have been proposed to solubilise organic matter and increase biogas production. Sludge electrooxidation with boron-doped diamond electrodes was used as pre-treatment for waste activated sludge (WAS) and its effect on physicochemical properties and biomethane potential (BMP) was evaluated. WAS with 2 and 3% total solids (TS) achieved 2.1 and 2.8% solubilisation, respectively, with higher solids requiring more energy. After pre-treatment, biodegradable chemical oxygen demand values were close to the maximum theoretical BMP, which makes sludge suitable for energy production. Anaerobic digestion reduced volatile solids (VS) by more than 30% in pre-treated sludge with a food to microorganism ratio of 0.15 g VSfed g−1 VSbiomass. Volatile fatty acids were lower than those for sludge without pre-treatment. Best pre-treatment conditions were 3% TS and 28.6 mA cm−2.

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