There are many factors affecting the biological sludge dewaterability such as particle size distribution, floc structure, extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), etc. In this research, the role of the protein and carbohydrate parts of EPS (EPScarbohydrate, and EPSprotein) on the dewaterability of biological ludges was investigated. The sludge EPS composition was altered by feeding the sludges of same origin, in different reactors, with synthetic media having carbon to nitrogen (C/N) ratios of 8, 19 and 30 (in terms of OD/NH3-N), respectively. EPS in sludge samples were extracted by a cation exchange resin (CER). The characteristics of EPS were investigated by analytical methods and by using FT-IR spectroscopy. The dewaterability of the sludges was determined in terms of filterability and compactibility. Filterability, as filterability constant (X), and compactibility, as cake solids concentration, of sludges were determined by using the capillary suction time (CST) test and the centrifugation, respectively. The floc structure of sludge samples was also observed microscopically. Filterability and compactibility of the sludge samples were improved considerably with the increasing carbohydrate part and the decreasing protein part of the sludge EPS. EPSprotein was inversely related to the cake solids concentration, which might be explained by the water holding capacity of EPSprotein. Filterability and compactibility of sludges improved by the increase of the size and strength of the flocs.

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