Desalination, Vol.249, No.2, 762-767, 2009
Effect of sonolysis on waste activated sludge solubilisation and anaerobic biodegradability
Activated sludge processes are key technologies in wastewater treatment. These biological processes produce huge amounts of waste activated sludge (WAS) or otherwise biosolids. Mechanical, thermal, and/or chemical WAS conditioning techniques have been proposed to reduce the sludge burden. Among the WAS treatments, the pre-treatment with ultrasound (US) is one of the most innovative processes. In many anaerobic digestion processes for the treatment of the sludge produced in wastewater treatment plants, the hydrolysis of the organic matter has been identified as the rate limiting step. This study is focused on the effect of US pre-treatment of WAS to the anaerobic digestion. Particle size reduction. Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) solubilization and biodegradability by anaerobic digestion were monitored in order to find the optimal dose in US pre-treatment. The results show the better sonolysis conditions (US density, sonication time, specific energy) which can significantly improve the COD solubilisation and the anaerobic biodegradability. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.