Sludge rheological properties play a fundamental role in determining its performance in pipes, tanks or reactors. However, the relative information on high-solids sludge is very rare. In this study, the rheological properties of high-solids sludge were investigated systematically and a new rheological model was built. The results showed that the low-solids sludge with total solids content (TS) 2–15% was pseudoplastic fluid, and the high-solids sludge with TS 7–15% exhibited thixotropic property. Sludge viscosity increased exponentially with the increasing TS, and decreased in function of power along with the increasing shear rate. The new complex model combining the exponential model and the power model can perfectly describe the relation between TS, shear rate and viscosity of the high-solids sludge. Both sludge organic content and temperature have influence on sludge viscosity, but the influence was not significant for the low-solids sludge. For the high-solids sludge with TS 6%, 8%, 10% and 12%, their viscosities increased by 5.0, 9.1, 25.7 and 24.9 times, respectively, when sludge organic content increased from 28% to 53%, and decreased by 36.5%, 49.5%, 54.0% and 65.4%, respectively, when sludge temperature rose from 9 to 55 °C.

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