ReviewA review of thermal sludge pre-treatment processes to improve dewaterability
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Abstract:

AbstractAs a result of the wide application and utilization of the waste activated sludge process, excess sludge presents a serious disposal problem. Many efforts have been devoted to reduce the excess sludge by treatments such as digestion and dewatering. It has been known for many years that a thermal pre-treatment gives an improvement in the dewaterability of sludges. This paper provides a literature review concerning the optimum treatment conditions to obtain enhanced dewaterability and digestibility of sludge. The main commercial hydrolysis processes (Cambi, Porteous and Zimpro) are discussed. The literature findings concerning the optimum treatment conditions of thermal or thermochemical pre-treatments are reviewed.The second part of this paper deals with the fundamentals of improving sludge dewatering. The influence of extracellular polymer (ECP) on settling and dewatering characteristics is discussed, together with the importance of cations and ECP-hydrophobicity in the flocculation and dewatering process. Finally, the effect on exocellular polymer, dewaterability, settleability and colloidal stability of activated sludge by treatment with sulfuric acid was studied.

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