Persulfate and zero valent iron combined conditioning as a sustainable technique for enhancing dewaterability of aerobically digested sludge

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Chemosphere, 2019, 232 pp. 45 - 53
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© 2019 Elsevier Ltd Aerobic digestion followed by dewatering is a widely applied method for sludge stabilization and reduction in decentralized wastewater treatment plants. It is important to enhance the sludge dewaterability of the aerobically digested sludge due to its considerable impact on cost of sludge disposal and management. In this study, an innovative technique is developed for improving the dewaterability of aerobically digested sludge by combined conditioning with persulfate (PS) and zero valent iron (ZVI). The results demonstrated that the dewaterability of aerobically digested sludge could be significantly enhanced with the PS and ZVI dosage in the range of 0–0.5 g/gTS and 0–0.4 g/gTS, respectively. The highest improvement was achieved at 0.05 g ZVI/g TS with 0.1 g PS/g TS, and the capillary suction time was reduced by ∼80%. The extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) characterization revealed that the combined PS-ZVI treatment could largely reduce proteins, polysaccharides and humic acids-like compounds in the tightly bounded EPS of the aerobically digested sludge, leading to bound water releasing from sludge flocs. The recovery of the ZVI particles could reach around 45%–80% after the treatment, further proved the sustainability of the approach. The proposed PS-ZVI conditioning would not have significant impact on the final choice of sludge disposal and the mainstream wastewater treatment. However, plant-scale test are still required for better assessing the proposed technique.
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