Linear alkylbenzene sulphonates (LAS) and nonylphenolethoxylates (NPE) may be detrimental to the environment if spread in inappropriately large concentrations. Mineralisation of LAS and NPE in mesophilic digested sludge was observed during a 9-month monitoring programme where three separate treatment methods were investigated. Sludge was treated in a sludge reed bed under aerobic conditions, by storage in a container under anaerobic conditions, and by storage in a sludge pile turned over mechanically at intervals to improve the oxygen influx. Treatment in a sludge reed bed was shown to be effective. Mineralisation of 98% of LAS and 93% of NPE was observed. Only limited mineralisation occurred on the surface of the sludge stored in a container. A reduction of LAS and NPE of 90% and 43%, respectively, was observed in the sludge which was stored in a pile and frequently turned.

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