Effect of ozonation on characteristics of waste activated sludge was investigated in the current study. Concentrations of cell-bound extracellular polymers (washed ECPs) did not change much upon ozonation, whereas the sum of cell-bound and soluble extracellular polymers (unwashed ECPs) increased with increasing ozone dose. Washed ECPs in original sludge as divided by molecular weight distribution was 39% < 1,000 Da (low MW), 30% from 1,000 to 10,000 Da (medium MW), and 31% > 10,000 Da (high MW). It was observed that the low-MW fraction decreased, and the high-MW fraction increased in ozonized sludge. The unwashed ECPs were characterized as 44% in low MW, 30% in medium MW, and 26% in high MW. Both low-MW and medium-MW fractions of unwashed ECPs decreased while high-MW fraction increased in ozonized sludge. The dewaterability of ozonized sludge, assessed by capillary suction time (CST) and specific resistance to filtration (SRF), deteriorated with ozone dose. The optimal dose of cationic polyelectrolyte increased with increasing ozone dose. The production rate and the accumulated amount of methane gas of ozonized sludge were also higher.

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