Municipal waste activated sludge (WAS) was treated with NaOH to solubilize the particulate organic matter in order to improve its digestibility when the sludge was stabilized in an anaerobic digestion process. For the WAS of 1% TS treated with 20 and 40 meq/l NaOH at ambient temperature for 24h, the SCOD/TCOD values increased from 3.5 to 39 and 55%, respectively. Results of the BMP (biochemical methane potential) test showed that recoveries of carbon and nitrogen reached 94-105% and the methane produced was 349 ml (at 1 atm and 35°C) for 1 g of COD removed. The improvement in VS removal for sludge treated with 40 meq/l of NaOH was as high as 41% over the control sludge sample, with COD removal and gas production improved by 30 and 34%, respectively, over the control. Results of the cumulative COD removal appeared to follow first-order reaction kinetics. Parameters of the first-order model such as ultimate biodegradable COD (L(u)), reaction rate coefficient (k) and ultimate biodegradability (μ), were calculated using the Thomas method. The BMP test can be used as a valuable tool to study the kinetics and efficiency of anaerobic digestion processes.
- Anaerobic digestion
- Biochemical methane potential
- Chemical pretreatment