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Enhancing Volatile Fatty Acid Production during Anaerobic Fermentation of Waste Activated Sludge with Persulfates: Peroxymonosulfate versus Peroxydisulfate

  • Wei Fang
    Wei Fang
    State Key Laboratory of Environmental Aquatic Chemistry, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 10085, P. R. China
    More by Wei Fang
  • Xuedong Zhang
    Xuedong Zhang
    Department of Environmental Engineering Faculty of Environment and Civil Engineering Jiangnan University. No. 1800, Lihu Avenue, Wuxi, 214122, P. R. China
  • Henri Spanjers
    Henri Spanjers
    Department of Water Management, Section Sanitary Engineering, Delft University of Technology, PO Box 5048, 2600 GA, Delft, The Netherlands
  • , and 
  • Tao Zhang*
    Tao Zhang
    State Key Laboratory of Environmental Aquatic Chemistry, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 10085, P. R. China
    *Email: [email protected]
    More by Tao Zhang
Cite this: ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng. 2021, 9, 30, 10073–10082
Publication Date (Web):July 22, 2021
https://doi.org/10.1021/acssuschemeng.1c01781
Copyright © 2021 American Chemical Society
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Abstract

Persulfates ((peroxymonosulfate (PMS) and peroxydisulfate (PDS)) can disintegrate waste activated sludge (WAS), but their influence on volatile fatty acid (VFA) production during anaerobic fermentation is largely unclear. Particularly, it is unknown whether persulfates can improve fermentation without any preactivation. This study investigated how the direct addition of PMS and PDS into the fermenter influences VFA production from WAS, and uncovered possible mechanisms of improved VFA production. At the PMS dosage of 1.0 mM/gVS, maximum VFA yield (1025 ± 55 mg COD/L) was observed in 5 days of fermentation, which was 24% higher than that with an equimolar addition of PDS and 132% higher than that without persulfate addition. However, the cost-effectiveness of PMS in enhancing VFA production is lower than that of PDS. The in situ generated hydroxyl and sulfate radicals from persulfates in the fermenter enhanced not only WAS disintegration and solubilization but also the formation of biodegradable substances for acidification. Moreover, the direct addition of persulfates into the fermenter shifted the microbial community toward hydrolysis-acidification such as Clostridium_sensu_stricto_10 and Fonticella. Results of this study also suggest that preactivation is not necessary when persulfates are applied to improve WAS fermentation.

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