This study was undertaken to determine the feasibility of caustic and heat treatment of sludge from a dry anaerobic reactor (DAR) with respect to increased methane production and solids destruction. The DAR was operated semi-continuously at 55 °C on sized-reduced municipal solid waste at a solids retention time of 15 days. A respirometer was employed to monitor the extent and rate of methane production from anaerobic biodegradation of DAR sludge that was treated with caustic and heat. Results indicate that caustic and heat treatment at 50 °C and 175 °C increased methane production by 22% and 52%, respectively. Also, volatile solids destruction increased from 46% to 58% and 83%, respectively. Based on these results, economic analysis for a full-scale 105 kg/d facility suggests that annual project revenue for 50 °C and 175 °C treatment is estimated at $21,000 and $445,000, respectively.

This content is only available as a PDF.