The Effects of Ultrasonic Disintegration as a Function of Waste Activated Sludge Characteristics and Technical Conditions of Conducting the Process…
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A comprehensive analysis of the effects obtained in the process of ultrasonic disintegration (UD) of waste activated sludge (WAS), was conducted. Sludge samples were collected periodically from Central Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) in Gliwice (Poland) and disintegrated in the two ultrasonic devices of different construction and technical parameters, i.e., WK-2010 (A) and ultrasonic washer (B). The experiments were performed under a constant energy supply per sludge volume EV = 160 kWh·m-3. The direct and technological effects, i.e., after UD and anaerobic digestion (AD) were investigated, respectively. Statistical analysis showed that characteristics and parameters of the WAS, which affects the magnitude of the direct effects create the following sequence: TS (total solids), VS (volatile solids), ΔT (temperature increase) > EPS (extracellular polymeric substances) > SCOD (soluble chemical oxygen demand) > CST (capillary suction time) > NTOT (total nitrogen), PTOT (total phosphorus) > pH. Whereas, in the case of technological effects, the above sequence was as follows: TS, VS > CST > NTOT, PTOT > pH. Ultrasonic disintegration of WAS prior to AD increased total biogas production (from 13.0% to 19.7%) and reduced the content of TS (from 4.1% to 8.2%) and VS (5.8% to 9.5%) in comparison to the control sample. This confirms the usefulness of ultrasonic disintegration as an effective method of sludge digestion intensification. The obtained results showed that changes in the characteristics of WAS have a significant impact on the magnitude of the effects of ultrasonic disintegration, especially TS, VS, ΔT, EPS, SCOD and CST. Concluding, it can be inferred that the most promising conditions for ultrasonic pretreatment conducted under constant energy supply per sludge volume, are: low power, long sonication time, large surface area of the emitter, and high increase of sludge temperature while conducting the process.
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disintegration effects;sludge characteristics;ultrasonic disintegration;waste activated sludge;wastewater treatment plant
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