Measurement of additional shear during sludge conditioning and dewatering
Review articleOpen access

AbstractOptimum polymer dose is influenced both by the polymer demand of the sludge and the shear applied during conditioning. Sludge exposed to additional shear following conditioning will experience a decrease in cake solids concentration for the same polymer dose. Therefore, it is necessary to measure or quantify the additional shear in order to optimize the conditioning and dewatering. There is currently no direct or indirect method to achieve this. The main objective of this study was to develop a method based on torque rheology to measure the amount of shear that a sludge network experiences during conditioning and dewatering. Anaerobically digested sludge samples were exposed to increasing levels of mixing intensities and times, and rheological characteristics of samples were measured using a torque rheometer. Several rheological parameters were evaluated including the peak torque and totalized torque (area under the rheograms). The results of this study show that at the optimum polymer dose, a linear relationship exists between the applied shear and the area under the rheograms, and this relationship can be used to estimate an unknown amount of shear that the sludge was exposed to. The method is useful as a research tool to study the effect of shear on dewatering but also as an optimization tool in a dewatering automation system based on torque rheology.

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