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Bioresour Technol. 2013 Dec;149:177-83. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2013.09.033. Epub 2013 Sep 17.

Comparative performance of mesophilic and thermophilic anaerobic digestion for high-solid sewage sludge.

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  • 1Recycling Research Team, Materials and Resources Research Group, Public Works Research Institute, 1-6, Minamihara, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8516, Japan. Electronic address: hidaka@pwri.go.jp.


In local cities, many small sewage and waste treatment facilities are operated independently. To encourage processing by anaerobic digestion at a centralized sewage treatment plant (STP), high-solid sewage sludge is helpful because it reduces the energy and cost required for transporting the sludge from other STPs. Mesophilic and thermophilic anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge at total solids concentrations (TS) of 7.5% and 10% were evaluated using laboratory-scale continuous reactors. Under the mesophilic condition, sewage sludge of 10% TS was successfully treated. Under the thermophilic condition, sewage sludge of 7.5% TS was not successfully treated when the total ammonia concentration was over 2000 mg N/L. Batch experiments showed that it takes a few weeks for the methane fermentation activity to recover after being inhibited. The effectiveness of adding easily biodegradable organic matter was confirmed. These results show that high-solid sewage sludge is suitable for small facilities by controlling the operating conditions.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Ammonia inhibition; Anaerobic digestion; High-solid sewage sludge; Small facilities; Thermophilic

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