In this work, two egg-shaped, 5L-volume, anaerobic sludge digesters were used, one under mesophilic conditions (35°C, M1), and the other under thermophilic conditions (55°C, T1). Both digesters were fed with the purged sludge from an anaerobic treatment plant (start-up period) and from an activated sludge plant (stabilization period), treating municipal wastewaters. The purpose of the study was to establish the technical feasibility of the anaerobic thermophilic sludge treatment comparatively, during the stages of start-up and stabilization of the process, for removing pathogenic microorganisms and parasites efficiently. The results show that, in both stages, the anaerobic thermophilic digester presents higher efficiency on the removal of pathogens and parasites, than the mesophilic digester. Anaerobic thermophilic digestion is close to complying with the EPA (1996) limits for “Class A” type biosolids, referring to the number of parasitic helminth eggs (0.25 HELarval/gTS), and to the pathogen indicator fecal coliforms (<1000 MPN/gTS). Therefore, the results show that thermophilic anaerobic digestion of biologic sludge may be considered as a suitable technology for the production of Class A biosolids, for further use in agriculture without restrictions.
Removal of fecal indicator organisms and parasites (fecal coliforms and helminth eggs) from municipal biologic sludge by anaerobic mesophilic and thermophilic digestion
M. Rojas Oropeza, N. Cabirol, S. Ortega, L. P. Castro Ortiz, A. Noyola; Removal of fecal indicator organisms and parasites (fecal coliforms and helminth eggs) from municipal biologic sludge by anaerobic mesophilic and thermophilic digestion. Water Sci Technol 1 August 2001; 44 (4): 97–101. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2001.0189
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