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Bioresour Technol. 2013 Mar;131:152-8. doi: 10.1016/j.biortech.2012.12.112. Epub 2012 Dec 26.

Changes of heavy metal speciation during high-solid anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge.

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National Engineering Research Center for Urban Pollution Control, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tongji University, 1239 Siping Road, Shanghai 200092, China.


The sequential extraction procedure developed by Tessier et al. was used in sludge anaerobic digestion to determine the heavy metal speciation. Sludge samples were taken every three days to investigate humic substances, VS/TS, pH, VFA, alkalinity, ammonia, the total content of Zn, Pb, Cu, Ni, and Cr, and also their distribution into EXCH, CARB, FeMnOx, OMB and RESI fractions. Results showed that, (1) Heavy metals were concentrated during the anaerobic digestion process. The concentration of all five kinds of heavy metals increased by about 50%. (2) The distribution of these heavy metals differed. (3) High-solid anaerobic digestion much or less increased the bioavailability of Cu, Zn, Ni and Cr while decreased the bioavailability of Pb. (4) There were significant degrees of correlation between heavy metal fractions and changes of some selected parameters (for example, pH, VS/TS, and VFA content). Except for Pb, the contents of total mobile fractions for Cu, Zn, Ni, Cr could be predictable from its total content.

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