Improvement of Anaerobic Digestion of Sewage Sludge, Using Combined Hydrogen Peroxide and Thermal Pre-Treatment

Document Type : Original Research Paper


School of Environment, Colledge of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


The present study investigates the influence of individual and combined hydrogen peroxide and thermal pre-treatment of waste activated sludge on anaerobic digestion. For so doing, it employs anaerobic batch reactors in the mesophilic conditions. For comparison, soluble fractions of organic matter, biogas production, biochemical methane potential, removal of chemical oxygen demand (COD), and volatile solids (VS) have been measured during the anaerobic digestion process in systems with and without pre-treatment. Hydrogen peroxide pre-treatment has been tested in two concentrations of 30 g H2O2/kg VS and 60 g H2O2/kg VS and thermal pre-treatment has been performed at two temperatures of 75℃ and 90℃. According to the results, the solubalisation of organic matter considerably improves, when combined hydrogen peroxide and thermal pre-treatment is employed. As a result, in comparison to the control reactor, higher amounts of biogas (71%) and methane (81%) have been produced in the bioreactor, pre-treated with combined hydrogen peroxide (30 g H2O2/kg VS) and heat (90 ℃). In addition, the removal efficiency of COD and VS from the digested sludge has been enhanced in the pre-treated reactors (up to 39% and 92%, respectively) in comparison to the control reactor. The improved methane yield, COD, and VS are of paramount importance, not only because higher amounts of renewable energy are obtained from the anaerobic digestion process, but because sludge transport costs are reduced and the digested sludge obtains a higher potential application to agricultural lands.


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