Ultrasound Treatment of Drinking Water Treatment Sludge

Zhiwei Zhou, Yanling Yang, Xing Li, Yang Zhang, Xuan Guo. Characterization of drinking water treatment sludge after ultrasound treatment. Ultrasonics – Sonochemistry May 2015 24:19-26

Ultrasonic technology alone or the combination of ultrasound with alkaline or thermal hydrolysis as pretreatment for anaerobic digestion of activated sludge has been extensively documented. However, there are few reports on ultrasound as pretreatment of drinking water treatment sludge (DWTS), and thereby the characteristic variability of sonicated DWTS has not been fully examined. This research presents a lab-scale study on physical, chemical and biological characteristics of a DWTS sample collected from a water plant after ultrasonic treatment via a bath/probe sonoreactor. By doing this work, we provide implications for using ultrasound as pretreatment of enhanced coagulation of recycling sludge, and for the conditioning of water and wastewater mixed sludge by ultrasound combined with polymers. Our results indicate that the most vigorous DWTS disintegration quantified by particles’ size reduction and organic solubilization is achieved with 5W/ml for 30min ultra-sonication (specific energy of 1590kWh/kgTS). The Brunauer, Emmett and Teller (BET) specific surface area of sonicated DWTS flocs increase as ultra-sonication prolongs at lower energy densities (0.03 and 1W/ml), while decrease as ultra-sonication prolongs at higher energy densities (3 and 5W/ml). Additionally, the pH and zeta potential of sonicated DWTS slightly varies under all conditions observed. A shorter sonication with higher energy density plays a more effective role in restraining microbial activity than longer sonication with lower energy density.

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