Disintegration of Waste Activated Sludge by Thermally-Activated Persulfates for Enhanced Dewaterability

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School of Urban and Environmental Engineering, and KIST-UNIST-Ulsan Center for Convergent Materials (KUUC), Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), 50 UNIST-gil, Ulju-gun, Ulsan 689-798, Republic of Korea
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Cite this: Environ. Sci. Technol. 2016, 50, 13, 7106–7115
Publication Date (Web):June 7, 2016
Copyright © 2016 American Chemical Society
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Oxidation by persulfates at elevated temperatures (thermally activated persulfates) disintegrates bacterial cells and extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) composing waste-activated sludge (WAS), facilitating the subsequent sludge dewatering. The WAS disintegration process by thermally activated persulfates exhibited different behaviors depending on the types of persulfates employed, that is, peroxymonosulfate (PMS) versus peroxydisulfate (PDS). The decomposition of PMS in WAS proceeded via a two-phase reaction, an instantaneous decomposition by the direct reaction with the WAS components followed by a gradual thermal decay. During the PMS treatment, the WAS filterability (measured by capillary suction time) increased in the initial stage but rapidly stagnated and even decreased as the reaction proceeded. In contrast, the decomposition of PDS exhibited pseudo first-order decay during the entire reaction, resulting in the greater and steadier increase in the WAS filterability compared to the case of PMS. The treatment by PMS produced a high portion of true colloidal solids (<1 μm) and eluted soluble and bound EPS, which is detrimental to the WAS filterability. However, the observations regarding the dissolved organic carbon, ammonium ions, and volatile suspended solids collectively indicated that the treatment by PMS more effectively disintegrated WAS compared to PDS, leading to higher weight (or volume) reduction by postcentrifugation.

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The Supporting Information is available free of charge on the ACS Publications website at DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b00019.

  • Characteristics of raw WAS (Table S1), pH changes (Figure S1), comparison between the conventional and the microwave heating methods (Figures S2–S5), production of TDN (Figure S6), changes in color and volume of WAS samples (Figure S7), zeta potential of treated WAS samples (Figure S8), variation in WAS viscosity (Figure S9), decomposition of persulfates in deionized water and the WAS medium (Figure S10) (PDF)

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