Increasing Biogas Production from Wastewater Residual Sludge by a Novel, Single-Step Thermal Pretreatment Method

Anaerobic digestion converts organic constituents of waste activated sludge to biogas in the absence of free oxygen. There are four key biological mechanisms of anaerobic digestion: hydrolysis, acidogenesis, acetogenesis and methanogenesis. Among these steps hydrolysis is the rate-limiting step that is responsible from breaking complex molecules into simpler sugars and fatty acids. There are several studies in the literature reporting successfully achieving hydrolysis prior to anaerobic digestion by employing mechanical, chemical or biological methods. The technology idea that is being investigated in this project is enhancement of biogas quality and quantity using a single-step thermal pretreatment method prior to anaerobic digestion. Figure 1 below illustrates addition of nano-enabled microwave process (green dashed lines) in the wastewater treatment process scheme.

Funding Agency: Massachusetts Clean Energy Center

Project Timeline: 5/2018 - 5/2019

Capacitive deionization for selective bromide removal from surface waters