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Water 2015, 7(11), 6483-6495; doi:10.3390/w7116483

Effect of Ultrasound Pretreatment on Sludge Digestion and Dewatering Characteristics: Application of Particle Size Analysis

Chemical and Environmental Bioprocess Engineering Department, Natural Resources Institute (IRENA), University of Leon, Av. de Portugal 41, Leon 24009, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Miklas Scholz
Received: 26 August 2015 / Revised: 23 October 2015 / Accepted: 9 November 2015 / Published: 13 November 2015
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The aim of this work was to study the effect of ultrasonic pretreatment on sludge digestion, particle size distribution (PSD), and dewaterability of digestates (measured by capillary suction time (CST) and specific resistance to filtration (SRF)). Sludge was pretreated with ultrasound (24 kHz) at an energy dosage of 4300 kJ/kg TS. Digestibility of sludge was increased by ultrasound pretreatment resulting in a higher specific methane production (SMP). The digestate of pretreated waste activated sludge (WAS) obtained under batch conditions presented a better dewatering performance. Digestion under semi-continuous conditions was evaluated using sewage sludge (mixture of primary sludge and WAS). In this case, digestates presented a much higher mean particle size for both cases evaluated (pretreated and non-pretreated) than that obtained under batch conditions. A wide PSD was a characteristic of these digestate samples. Flow dynamics inside the reactor resulted in the presence of high-diameter flocs, thus significantly affecting the mean particle size and specific surface area (SSA) values. View Full-Text
Keywords: anaerobic digestion; dewatering; particle size distribution; ultrasound anaerobic digestion; dewatering; particle size distribution; ultrasound

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Martínez, E.J.; Rosas, J.G.; Morán, A.; Gómez, X. Effect of Ultrasound Pretreatment on Sludge Digestion and Dewatering Characteristics: Application of Particle Size Analysis. Water 2015, 7, 6483-6495.

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