Multistaged Anaerobic Sludge Digestion Processes

by Jongmin Kim, (corresponding author), Infilco Degremont, Inc., Richmond, VA 23229; formerly, Research Assistant, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech, Jongmin.Kim@infilcodegremont.com,
John T. Novak, (M.ASCE), Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061.,
Matthew J. Higgins, (A.M.ASCE), Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Bucknell Univ., Lewisburg, PA 17837.,


Serial Information: Issue 8, Pg. 746-753


Document Type: Journal Paper

Abstract: Two multistaged anaerobic digestion systems, a four-stage thermophilic anaerobic digestion (4TAD), all at 55°C, and a four-stage anaerobic digestion with a tapered temperature configuration (4ADT) at 55, 49, 43, and 37°C, respectively, were studied to evaluate their solids, volatile organic sulfur compounds, and indicator organism (E. coli and fecal coliform) reduction potentials. The 4TAD system removed significantly more volatile solids from sludges than the 4ADT system (6%). However, the dewatered biosolids cakes from the 4ADT system generated fewer organic sulfur compounds than those from the 4TAD system. Both multistage systems showed better digestion efficiencies than single-stage mesophilic or single-stage thermophilic anaerobic digesters at the same overall retention time. However, the lowest organic sulfur compounds were observed from the single mesophilic system. Both multistage anaerobic digestion systems failed to dramatically remove DNA of the indicator organism, E. coli, quantified by real time polymerase chain reaction, even though the indicator organism densities measured by standard culturing methods satisfied EPA Class A biosolids requirements.

Subject Headings: Anaerobic processes | Sludge | Sulfur | Organisms | Bacteria | Heat treatment | Solid wastes | Health hazards | Solid mechanics |

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