The usability of mechanical disintegration techniques for the reduction of excess sludge production in the activated sludge process was investigated. Using three different disintegration devices (ultrasonic homogeniser, stirred media mill, high pressure homogeniser) and different operational parameters of the disintegration, the effect of mechanical disintegration on the excess sludge production and on the effluent quality was studied within a continuously operated, laboratory scale wastewater treatment system with pre-denitrification. Depending on the operational conditions and the disintegration device used, a reduction of excess sludge production of up to 70% was achieved. A combination of mechanical disintegration with a membrane bioreactor process with high sludge age is more energy effective concerning reduction of sludge production than with a conventional activated sludge process at lower sludge ages. Depending on the disintegration parameters, the disintegration has no, or only minor, negative effect on the soluble effluent COD and on the COD-removal capacity of the activated sludge process. Nitrogen-removal was slightly deteriorated by the disintegration, whereas the system used was not optimised for nitrogen removal before disintegration was implemented.
Research Article|September 01 2006
Reduction of excess sludge production using mechanical disintegration devices
*Institute of Mechanical Process Engineering, Post Box 3329, Technical University of Braunschweig, D-38023 Braunschweig, Germany
Search for other works by this author on:
Water Sci Technol (2006) 54 (5): 69-76.
G.W. Strünkmann, J.A. Müller, F. Albert, J. Schwedes; Reduction of excess sludge production using mechanical disintegration devices. Water Sci Technol 1 September 2006; 54 (5): 69–76. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/wst.2006.548
Download citation file: