Municipal sludge disposal and recycle has become a prominent research theme. In this study, a sequential process for integral treatment of municipal sludge was primarily presented, combining acid leaching, anion exchange and aerobic composting. The aim of the process was to remove chromium (Cr) from the sludge and reuse the sludge as manure. Firstly, Cr was removed from municipal sludge via the acid leaching process; the removal rate was up to 57.43%. Then, ion exchange resin was used to remove Cr from leachate; the removal rate reached 95%. Aluminum sheet was used to replace the Cr from eluent; the replacement rate was 63.3%. The aerobic composting process could be successfully warmed up to above 55 °C and lasted for 4 days; the seed germination index reached 68.3%. After the composting process, the residual Cr in sludge mainly existed at a more stable residual state and organic binding state. Overall, this novel sequential process serves as a potential high-efficiency, green, low-energy way for municipal sludge recycle.

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