Trials at a wastewater treatment works indicate that cross-flow microfiltration, using flexible woven fibre tubes, could significantly enhance the performance of anaerobic digesters. The cross-flow microfiltration unit decouples the solids residence time from the liquid residence time and thus enables the volumetric throughput of the digester to be significantly increased while maintaining a constant solids residence time and volatile solids destruction. In trials on a pilot-plant digester, the volumetric throughput was almost doubled, from 70 to 130 1 d−1, while the solids residence time was maintained at 26 days. The economic feasibility of the coupled system was evaluated, using permeate flux data obtained from a cross-flow microfiltration unit coupled to a full-scale digester. The evaluation indicates that the coupled process is economically favourable when compared to conventional digester systems. The coupled system is currently being developed into a full-scale process. A full-scale CFMF unit is being constructed and will be coupled to a full-scale digester. Over a three year project the long-term reliability and operability of the process will be investigated, together with its effect on digester fluid dynamics and biomass viability.
Improving the performance of anaerobic digesters at wastewater treatment works: the coupled cross-flow microfiltration/digester process
V. L. Pillay, B. Townsend, C. A. Buckley; Improving the performance of anaerobic digesters at wastewater treatment works: the coupled cross-flow microfiltration/digester process. Water Sci Technol 1 December 1994; 30 (12): 329–337. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.1994.0632
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