Chemical conditioning improves sludge dewatering. Choice of chemical conditioners is very much dependent on the characteristics of the sludges and the type of dewatering devices. Lime, alum, ferric chloride and polyelectrolytes are commonly used chemical conditioners. Anaerobic digested sludge samples collected from a sewage treatment plant with different oil contents varying from 1.8% to 8.0% by weight have been examined in the laboratory to find out their specific resistance, capillary suction time and filter yield. Lime and alum were used separately as conditioners. Different dosages of conditioner varying from 2% to 12% by weight were used to determine the optimum chemical dosage for varying oil contents. Lime dosages of about 6% were found to yield favourable characteristics. Addition of alum decreases the specific resistances and capillary suction times of oily sludges rapidly up to 4% dosages. Alum dosages beyond 4% only increase the solids content in the sludge cake and increase the sludge volume to be handled. A correlation between CST and specific resistance to filtration was established. CST can be measured easily and quickly in the laboratories. Using the CST and the correlation a quick prediction on dewaterability can be established.

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