Assessment of electrooxidation as pre- and post-treatments for improving anaerobic digestion and stabilisation of waste activated sludge
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Journal of Environmental Management
This study evaluates the effects of electro-oxidation as a means for enhancing sludge stabilisation. Boron-doped diamond electrodes were used to treat waste activated sludge and digestate under different operating parameters (current density, conductivity, pH, and time). Electro-oxidation runs affected the solubilisation of organic matter, which seemed to improve anaerobic digestion and dewaterability characteristics. Among the tested parameters, pre-treating sludge via electro-oxidation under alkaline conditions (Treatment T5) resulted in the highest increase in soluble organic material compared to that in the control, with total organic carbon (TOC) and soluble chemical oxygen demand (COD) values of 2753 and 7819 mg L−1, respectively (control TOC and COD values were 385 and 1073 mg L−1). This pretreatment also achieved a high hydrolysis rate (higher concentration in volatile fatty acids) with a concomitant increase in methane yield (approximately 18%). On the other hand, the application of electro-oxidation as a post-treatment for improving digestate dewaterability resulted in noticeable changes in the release of water during drying due to protein and aliphatic matrix modification of the sample.
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