Title

Synergistic Co-Digestion of Solid-Organic-Waste and Municipal-Sewage-Sludge: 1 plus 1 Equals More than 2 in Terms of Biogas Production and Solids Reduction

Publication Date

2015

Journal

Water Research

Volume

87

First Page

416

Last Page

423

Abstract

Making good use of existing water infrastructure by adding organic wastes to anaerobic digesters improves the energy balance of a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) substantially. This paper explores co-digestion load limits targeting a good trade-off for boosting methane production, and limiting process-drawbacks on nitrogen-return loads, cake-production, solids-viscosity and polymer demand. Bio-methane potential tests using whey as a model co-substrate showed diversification and intensification of the anaerobic digestion process resulting in a synergistical enhancement in sewage sludge methanization. Full-scale case-studies demonstrate organic co-substrate addition of up to 94% of the organic sludge load resulted in tripling of the biogas production. At organic co-substrate addition of up to 25% no significant increase in cake production and only a minor increase in ammonia release of ca. 20% have been observed. Similar impacts were measured at a high-solids digester pilot with up-stream thermal hydrolyses where the organic loading rate was increased by 25% using co-substrate. Dynamic simulations were used to validate the synergistic impact of co-substrate addition on sludge methanization, and an increase in hydrolysis rate from 1.5 d(-1) to 2.5 d(-1) was identified for simulating measured gas production rate. This study demonstrates co-digestion for maximizing synergy as a step towards energy efficiency and ultimately towards carbon neutrality. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI

10.1016/j.watres.2015.07.033

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