|Commenced in January 1999||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 11|
The evolution of the pyrolysis of sewage sludge in a fixed and a fluidized bed was analyzed using a novel measuring technique. This original measuring technique consists of installing the whole reactor over a precision scale, capable of measuring the mass of the complete reactor with enough precision to detect the mass released by the sewage sludge sample during its pyrolysis. The inert conditions required for the pyrolysis process were obtained supplying the bed with a nitrogen flowrate, and the bed temperature was adjusted to either 500 ºC or 600 ºC using a group of three electric resistors. The sewage sludge sample was supplied through the top of the bed in a batch of 10 g. The measurement of the mass released by the sewage sludge sample was employed to determine the evolution of the reaction rate during the pyrolysis, the total amount of volatile matter released, and the pyrolysis time. The pyrolysis tests of sewage sludge in the fluidized bed were conducted using two different bed materials of the same size but different densities: silica sand and sepiolite particles. The higher density of silica sand particles induces a flotsam behavior for the sewage sludge particles which move close to the bed surface. In contrast, the lower density of sepiolite produces a neutrally-buoyant behavior for the sewage sludge particles, which shows a proper circulation throughout the whole bed in this case. The analysis of the evolution of the pyrolysis process in both fluidized beds show that the pyrolysis is faster when buoyancy effects are negligible, i.e. in the bed conformed by sepiolite particles. Moreover, sepiolite was found to show an absorbent capability for the volatile matter released during the pyrolysis of sewage sludge.
Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), being a rich source of organic materials, can be used for agricultural applications as an important source of nutrients for soil and plants. This is also an alternative beneficial management practice for MSW generated in developing countries. In the present study, MSW treated soil samples from last four to six years at farmer’s field in Rohtak and Gurgaon states (Haryana, India) were collected. The samples were analyzed for all-important agricultural parameters and compared with the control untreated soil samples. The treated soil at farmer’s field showed increase in total N by 48 to 68%, P by 45.7 to 51.3%, and K by 60 to 67% compared to untreated soil samples. Application of sewage sludge at different sites led to increase in microbial biomass C by 60 to 68% compared to untreated soil. There was significant increase in total Cu, Cr, Ni, Fe, Pb, and Zn in all sewage sludge amended soil samples; however, concentration of all the metals were still below the current permitted (EU) limits. To study the adverse effect of heavy metals accumulation on various soil microbial activities, the sewage sludge samples (from wastewater treatment plant at Gurgaon) were artificially contaminated with heavy metal concentration above the EU limits. They were then applied to soil samples with different rates (0.5 to 4.0%) and incubated for 90 days under laboratory conditions. The samples were drawn at different intervals and analyzed for various parameters like pH, EC, total N, P, K, microbial biomass C, carbon mineralization, and diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA) exactable heavy metals. The results were compared to the uncontaminated sewage sludge. The increasing level of sewage sludge from 0.5 to 4% led to build of organic C and total N, P and K content at the early stages of incubation. But, organic C was decreased after 90 days because of decomposition of organic matter. Biomass production was significantly increased in both contaminated and uncontaminated sewage soil samples, but also led to slight increases in metal accumulation and their bioavailability in soil. The maximum metal concentrations were found in treatment with 4% of contaminated sewage sludge amendment.
Anaerobic digestion is a well-known technique for sustainable energy recovery from sewage sludge. However, sewage sludge digestion is restricted due to certain factors. Pre-treatment methods have been established in various publications as a promising technique to improve the digestibility of the sewage sludge and to enhance the biogas generated which can be used for energy recovery. In this study, continuous flow microwave (MW) pre-treatment with different intensities were compared by using 5 L semi-continuous digesters at a hydraulic retention time of 27 days. We focused on the effects of MW at different intensities on the sludge solubilization, sludge digestibility, and biogas production of the untreated and MW pre-treated sludge. The MW pre-treatment demonstrated an increase in the ratio of soluble chemical oxygen demand to total chemical oxygen demand (sCOD/tCOD) and volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentration. Besides that, the total volatile solid (TVS) removal efficiency and tCOD removal efficiency also increased during the digestion of the MW pre-treated sewage sludge compared to the untreated sewage sludge. Furthermore, the biogas yield also subsequently increases due to the pre-treatment effect. A higher MW power level and irradiation time generally enhanced the biogas generation which has potential for sustainable energy recovery from sewage treatment plant. However, the net energy balance tabulation shows that the MW pre-treatment leads to negative net energy production.
In recent decades with the development of technology and lack of food sources, sewage sludge in production of human foods is inevitable. Various sources of municipal and industrial sewage sludge that is produced can provide the requirement of plant nutrients. Soils in arid, semi-arid climate of central Iran that most affected by water drainage, iron and zinc deficiencies, using of sewage sludge is helpful. Therefore, the aim of this study is investigation of sewage sludge and manure application on Ni, Pb and Cd uptake by Savory. An experiment in a randomized complete block design with three replications was performed. Sewage sludge treatments consisted of four levels, control, 15, 30, 80 tons per hectares; the manure was used in four levels of control, 20, 40 and 80 tons per hectare. Results showed that the wet and dry weights was not affected by sewage sludge using, while, manure has significant effect on them. The effect of sewage sludge on the cadmium and lead concentrations were significant. Interactions of sewage sludge and manure on dry weight values were not significant. Compare mean analysis showed that increasing the amount of sewage sludge had no significant effect on cadmium concentration and it reduced when sewage sludge usage increased. This is probably due to increased plant growth and reduced concentrations of these elements in the plant.
The efficiency of heavy metals removal from sewage sludge in bioleaching processes with heterotrophic, chemoautotrophic (sulphur-oxidizing) sludge cenoses and chemical leaching (in distilled water, weakly acidic or alkaline medium) was compared. The efficacy of heavy metals removal from sewage sludge varies from 83 % (Zn) up to 14 % (Cr) and follows the order: Zn > Mn > Cu > Ni > Co > Pb > Cr. The advantages of metals bioleaching process at heterotrophic metabolism were shown. A new process for bioconversation of sewage sludge into fertilizer at middle temperatures after partial heavy metals removal was developed. This process is based on enhancing vital ability of heterotrophic microorganisms by adding easily metabolized nutrients and synthesis of metabolites by growing sludge cenoses. These metabolites possess the properties of heavy metals extractants and flocculants which provide the enhancement of sludge flocks sedimentation. The process results in biomineral fertilizer of prolonged action with immobilized sludge bioelements. The fertilizer satisfies the EU limits for the sewage sludge of agricultural utilization. High efficiency of the biomineral fertilizer obtained has been demonstrated in vegetation experiments.
The present study is aimed at alteration of sewage sludge into stable compost product using vermicomposting of sewage sludge mixed with cattle manure and saw dust in five different proportions based on C/N ratios (C/N 15 (R1), 20 (R2), 25 (R3) and 30 (R4); and control (R5)) by employing an epigeic earthworm Eisenia fetida. Higher reductions in C/N ratio, CO2 evolution and OUR were observed in R4 demonstrated the compost stability. In addition, R4 proved to be best combination for the growth of the earthworms. In order to observe the optimal degradation, kinetics for degradation of organic matter in vermicomposting were quantitatively evaluated. An approach model was developed by assuming that composting process is carried out in a homogeneous way and the kinetics for decomposition reaction is represented by a Monod-type equation. The results exhibit comparable variations in the kinetic constants Km and K3 under varying parameters during vermicomposting process. Results suggested that higher R2 value in R4, enhanced suitability towards Lineweaver-Burke plot. R4 yields higher degradability coefficient (K) reveals that the occurrence of optimal nutrient balance, which not only enhanced the affinity of enzymes towards substrate but also improved its degradation process. Therefore, it can be proved that R4 provided to be the best feed combination for vermicomposting process as compared to other reactors.
In the present study, the effect of ferrous sulfate concentration and total solids on bioleaching of heavy metals from sewage sludge has been examined using indigenous iron-oxidizing microorganisms. The experiments on effects of ferrous sulfate concentrations on bioleaching were carried out using ferrous sulfate of different concentrations (5-20 g L-1) to optimize the concentration of ferrous sulfate for maximum bioleaching. A rapid change in the pH and ORP took place in first 2 days followed by a slow change till 16th day in all the sludge samples. A 10 g L-1 ferrous sulfate concentration was found to be sufficient in metal bioleaching in the following order: Zn: 69%>Cu: 52%>Cr: 46%>Ni: 45. Further, bioleaching using 10 g/L ferrous sulfate was found to be efficient up to 20 g L-1 sludge solids concentration. The results of the present study strongly indicate that using 10 g L-1 ferrous sulfate indigenous iron-oxidizing microorganisms can bring down pH to a value needed for significant metal solubilization.
The present disposal routes of sewage sludge represent a critical environmental issue in Egypt. Recently, there has been an increasing concern about sewage sludge management due to the environmental risks, which resulted from the fast expansion of wastewater treatment plants without equal attention in dealing with the produced sludge. This paper discusses the current situation of sewage sludge management in Egypt presenting a brief overview of the existing wastewater treatment plants, sludge production and characteristics as well as options of beneficial use and potential demand of sewage sludge under Egyptian conditions. The characteristics of sewage sludge are discussed considering the results of own sampling and analysis as well as previous studies. Furthermore, alternative treatment scenarios for sewage sludge, which have been recently developed in Egypt, are discussed and perspectives for a sustainable agricultural use are outlined.