Dual polymer conditioning enhanced the dewatering characteristics of aerobically digested activated sludge from a pharmaceutical industry. The solids content of the dewatered sludge cake, from a belt filter, increased from 8-11% range to 11-14% range due to dual polymer conditioning. In addition, dual polymer conditioning improved the compressibility of the sludge cake, reduced blinding of the belt filter media, and enhanced solids capture by the belt filter. Initially, bench scale studies were conducted to screen suitable polymers for conditioning. From these studies, two polymers, namely, Calgon Catfloc 8964 (a low molecular weight, high cationic charge) and Calgon WT2476I (a high molecular weight, high cationic charge) were chosen for full scale experiments. This paper reports the details of the polymer screening methods, dual polymer conditioning procedures, and the results of the full scale trials.

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