The role of iron and aluminium in determining volatile solids reduction and odors from anaerobically digested, dewatered sludge cakes was evaluated from data collected from a variety of wastewater treatment plants. It was found that volatile solids reduction generally increased as the iron content of the sludge increased. It was also observed that odors increased with increasing iron. No correlation with aluminium or divalent cations was found. Based on these data it appears that the volatile solids reduction by anaerobic digestion is not useful for predicting the odors from anaerobically digested sludges.

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