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Water Res. 2009 Apr;43(7):1811-22. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2009.02.012. Epub 2009 Feb 20.

Progress and perspectives of sludge ozonation as a powerful pretreatment method for minimization of excess sludge production.

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Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology, Tsinghua University School of Biochemical Engineering, Beijing 100084, China.


The treatment and disposal of excess sludge represents a bottleneck in wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) worldwide, due to environmental, economic, social and legal factors. The ideal solution to the problem of sludge disposal is to combine sludge reduction with the removal of pollution at the source. This paper presents an overview of the potential of ozonation in sludge reduction. The full-scale application of ozonation in excess sludge reduction is presented. Improvements in the biodegradability of the ozonated sludge were confirmed. The introduction of ozonation into activated sludge did not significantly influence effluent quality but improved the settling properties of the sludge. An operation with a suitable sludge wasting ratio seems to be necessary to prevent accumulation of inorganic and inert particles for long-term operation. Sludge ozonation to reduce excess sludge production may be economical in WWTP which have high sludge disposal costs and operational problems such as sludge foaming and bulking. The recommended ozone dose ranges from 0.03 to 0.05 g O(3)/g TSS, which is appropriate to achieve a balance between sludge reduction efficiency and cost. An effort to design and optimize an economic sludge reduction process is necessary.

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