Sludge Production

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Specific sludge production in wastewater treatment varies widely from 35 to 85 g dry solids per population equivalent per day (gTS PE-1 d-1).

The production of primary sludge is related to the amount of settleable solids in raw wastewater whose solids content is typically of 50-60 gTSS PE-1 d-1 or 110-170 gTSS/m3 of treated wastewater (Tchobanoglous et al., 2003).

Organic matter is oxidised by heterotrophic microorganisms to produce H2O and CO2 in the process known as catabolism. This process requires the availability of an electron acceptor – which may be oxygen or nitrate – and lead to the production of energy as ATP. This energy is then used by microorganisms to grow forming new cellular biomass and to guarantee maintenance functions (such as the renewal of cellular constituents, maintenance of osmotic pressure, nutrient transport, motility, etc…) in the process called anabolism.

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