The biodegradability of aquatic worm predated waste activated sludge: A sequential aerobic and anaerobic treatment approach

Steef de Valk*, Tales A. Tavares de Sousa, Ahmad F. Khadem, Jules B. van Lier, Merle K. de Kreuk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of waste activated sludge (WAS) predation by the aquatic worm Tubifex tubifex (T. tubifex) on the overall biodegradability of WAS. The initial WAS biodegradability potential was determined in 80 days sequential batch-fed anaerobic and aerobic treatment combinations. These treatment combinations were used as a reference for comparison with the effect of 5-day predation and 40-day anaerobic treatment combinations. Predation and the subsequent anaerobic digestion of the predated solids shows superior solids removal and superior overall conversion rates compared to solely conventional anaerobic digestion. Strikingly, the predation and anaerobic treatment combinations reached the same chemical oxygen demand (COD) and volatile solids (VS) reduction as the reference processes, i.e. 58% and 49% for COD and VS, respectively. Our results show that predation and anaerobic treatment combinations increase solids removal rates, but do not alter the overall biodegradability potential of WAS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100606
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalBioresource Technology Reports
Volume12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Biodegradability
  • Digestibility
  • Sequential treatment
  • T. tubifex
  • WAS
  • Worm predation

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