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Open access

Alicja Machnicka, Klaudiusz Grűbel and Agnieszka Rusin

Hygienisation of Surplus Activated Sludge by Hydrodynamic Cavitation

The success of an effective process of disintegration is the application of physical or chemical methods of the destruction of the cell wall which consequently becomes fragmented and the intracellular matters are released into the surrounding liquid. The purpose of the conducted experiments was to demonstrate possibilities of application of the hydrodynamic in the bacteriological hygienisation of surplus activated sludge. The confirmation of the effectiveness of the bactericidal activity of hydrodynamic cavitation was the number of bacteria grown on agars before and after hygienisation process. Selective and basic beddings have been used in the research. The bacterial culture has lasted approximately 24 to 48 hours. After the period of incubation the colonies produced have been counted and initially identified. Based on the microbiological analyses a significant reduction in an overall number of bacteria and pathogenic bacteria belonging to the family Enterobacteriaceae and to the pathogenic species Staphylococcus has been noticed. The overall number of bacteria decrease about 80% after 45 minutes of disintegration of surplus activated sludge. Pathogenic bacteria belonging to the family Enterobacteriaceae: lactose-positive and lactose-negative decrease about 93% and 92%, respectively. Reducing the number of Salmonella bacteria was 100% after 45 minutes of disintegration processes. Reduction bacteria of species Staphylococcus were about 93% for mannitolo-positive and 92% for mannitolo-negative.

Open access

Jolanta Bohdziewicz, Mariusz Kuglarz and Klaudiusz Grűbel

Abstract

The article presents the results of determining the most appropriate conditions of microwave sludge pre-treatment (500-1200 W), prior to its anaerobic digestion in a continuous mode. The assessment of the pre-treatment conditions (microwave power, sludge temperature after pre-treatment) was based on: the release of organic (COD, protein) and inorganic (NH4 +, PO4 3-) substances into liquid, the quantity of methane produced, sludge higienisation and the susceptibility of the pre-treated sludge to dewatering. The power of the microwaves applied did not play significant role on the pre-treatment effectiveness. Taking into account the fact that sludge pre-treatment by microwave irradiation requires the delivery of energy, the pre-treatment by microwaves of higher power (1200 W) and resulting in sludge temperature of 70°C was recommended for further experiments. Sludge pre-treatment by means of microwave irradiation as a pre-treatment step influenced the effectiveness of the subsequent anaerobic digestion, conducted in continuous conditions, in a positive way. The largest amount of biogas was obtained for HRT in the range of 15-20 days. As compared to the sludge which did not undergo pre-treatment, daily biogas production and biogas yield increased by 18-41% and 13-35% respectively. The combination of microwave pre-treatment and mesophilic anaerobic digestion ensured the elimination of pathogens (Salmonella spp., Escherichia coli).

Open access

Jan Suschka and Klaudiusz Grübel

Abstract

Primary or secondary sewage sludge in medium and large WWTP are most often processed by anaerobic digestion, as a method of conditioning, sludge quantity minimization and biogas production. With the aim to achieve the best results of sludge processing several modifications of technologies were suggested, investigated and introduced in the full technical scale. Various sludge pretreatment technologies before anaerobic treatment have been widely investigated and partially introduced. Obviously, there are always some limitations and some negative side effects. Selected aspects have been presented and discussed. The problem of nitrogen has been highlighted on the basis of the carried out investigations. The single and two step - mesophilic and thermophilic - anaerobic waste activated sludge digestion processes, preceded by preliminary hydrolysis were investigated. The aim of lab-scale experiments was pre-treatment of the sludge by means of low intensive alkaline and hydrodynamic disintegration. Depending on the pretreatment technologies and the digestion temperature large ammonia concentrations, up to 1800 mg NH4/dm3 have been measured. Return of the sludge liquor to the main sewage treatment line means additional nitrogen removal costs. Possible solutions are discussed.

Open access

Mariusz Kuglarz, Klaudiusz Grübel and Jolanta Bohdziewicz

Abstract

The aim of the study was to develop an effective treatment of post-digestion liquors highly-loaded with biogenic and organic substances. The scope of the research project encompassed: mesophilic anaerobic digestion of waste activated sludge (WAS) as well as the treatment of post-digestion liquors, coming from the most appropriate HRT value of 25 days, in the process of ammonium magnesium phosphate (struvite) precipitation targeted at ammonia nitrogen binding and a subsequent reverse osmosis (RO) process. It was established that the method combining chemical precipitation and high-pressure filtration ensures a high degree of contaminants removal allowing for a direct release of treated liquors into the natural reservoir. However, in order to decrease the residual NH4 + concentration (6.1 mg NH4 +/dm3) in the purified post-digestion liquors below the level allowing for a direct release to the natural reservoir, it turned out to be necessary to apply increased molar ratio of magnesium and phosphates (Mg:NH4 +: PO4 3-= 1.5:1:1.5).

Open access

Klaudiusz Grűbel, Alicja Machnicka and Stanisław Wacławek

Abstract

Large amounts of sludge are produced in biological wastewater treatment plants. Since the sludge is highly contaminated, it has to undergo proper stabilization before it is disposed or utilized in an environmentally safe way. On the whole, the aim of bacterial cell disintegration is the release of cell contents in the form of an aqueous extract. Chemical disintegration of surplus activated sludge by alkalization results in destruction and disruption of the flocs and microorganisms as well as increase concentration of organic matter in supernatant. The mesophilic anaerobic sewage sludge digestion is an established process, most often applied at medium and large municipal sewage treatment plants. Four major steps of anaerobic digestion are distinguished. The first hydrolysis step leads to solubilization of insoluble particulate matter and biological decomposition of organic polymers to monomers or dimers. The hydrolysis step is recognized as the rate-limiting step of the following second and third steps, the processes of acidogenesis and acetogenesis. Chemical disintegration activates biological hydrolysis and, therefore, it can significantly increase the stabilization rate of the secondary sludge. It has been shown that when the activated sludge was subjected to alkalization to pH 9.0 value, the COD concentration increased from 101 to 530 mg/dm3 in sludge supernatant. The paper presents a potential application of chemical disintegration for sewage sludge (mainly activated sludge) to upgrading biogas production.

Open access

Jan Suschka and Klaudiusz Grübel

Abstract

Sewage sludge (municipal, or industrial) treatment is still a problem in so far that it is not satisfactorily resolved in terms of cost and final disposal. Two common forms of sludge disposal are possible; the first being direct disposal on land (including agriculture) and the second being incineration (ash production), although neither of these methods are universally applied. Simplifying the issue, direct sludge disposal on land is seldom applied for sanitary and environmental reasons, while incineration is not popular for financial (high costs) reasons. Very often medium and large wastewater treatment plants apply anaerobic digestion for sludge hygiene principles, reducing the amount to be disposed and for biogas (energy) production. With the progress in sewage biological treatment aiming at nutrient removal, primary sludge has been omitted in the working processes and only surplus activated sludge requires handling. Anaerobic digestion of waste activated sludge (WAS) is more difficult due to the presence of microorganisms, the decomposition of which requires a relatively long time for hydrolysis. In order to upgrade the hydrolysis effects, several different pre-treatment processes have already been developed and introduced. The additional pre-treatment processes applied are aimed at residual sludge bulk mass minimization, shortening of the anaerobic digestion process or higher biogas production, and therefore require additional energy. The water-energy-waste Nexus (treads of) of the benefits and operational difficulties, including energy costs are discussed in this paper. The intensity of pre-treatment processes to upgrade the microorganism’s hydrolysis has crucial implications. Here a low intensity pre-treatment process, alkalisation and hydrodynamic disintegration - hybrid process - were presented in order to achieve sufficient effects of WAS anaerobic digestion. A sludge digestion efficiency increase expressed as 45% biogas additional production and 52% of the total or volatile solids reduction has been confirmed.

Open access

Alicja Machnicka, Klaudiusz Grübel and Kryspin Mirota

Abstract

Hydrodynamic cavitation caused by the Venturi effect is one of the most promising methods of sewage sludge pre-treatment. This study has been carried out to investigate the effect of hydrodynamic cavitation on disintegration of activated sludge foam and mesophilic fermentation. Cavitation was generated in standard Venturi tube with the diameter ratio β = d 0/d 1 = 0.30, working at σ = 0.249. Detailed Computational Fluid Design (CFD) analysis in class of k- model of internal flow has been presented. Obtained analytical investigation results confirmed the effect of strong disruption of microorganism cells and release of free organic substance into the liquid phase. After a short (30 minutes) pre-treatment, chemical oxygen demand increased by 8.63 times while Müller’s disintegration degree was 50%. Moreover, undertaken mesophilic digestion trials brought significant improvement in biogas production.

Open access

Alicja Machnicka and Klaudiusz Grübel

Abstract

Phosphorus removal in wastewater treatment plant is carried out by chemical precipitation, advanced biological treatment or a combination of both. One of the biggest problems with high concentration of phosphorus in water environment is eutrophication. Activated sludge flocs have a heterogeneous structure, which consist of a variety of microorganisms. Filamentous bacteria are normally present in the activated sludge and have ability to assimilation of phosphorus. In this study phosphorus accumulation by isolated filamentous bacteria from activated sludge foam was present.

Open access

Klaudiusz Grűbel, Alicja Machnicka, Ewelina Nowicka and Stanisław Wacławek

Abstract

The previously received results of individual processes of hydrodynamic and alkaline disintegration were decisive significant for the conducted research task. The combination of hydrodynamic cavitation (30 minutes duration of the process) and alkaline (pH ≈ 9) to the destruction of activated sludge caused a significant release of organic matter about 1383 mg/dm3 in comparing to individual processes. Such increase in the SCOD value resulted in a significant growth the efficiency of biogas yield in a two-stage mesophilic-thermophilic processes. The increase in yield was from 26 to 38% depending on the volume of disintegrated sludge. The effect of the two-stage fermentation resulted activated sludge hygienisation. The microbiological analysis of the influence of the fermentation with the different volume of hybrid disintegrated sludge was based on microbiological indicators: Salmonella spp. and coliphages. The obtained results prove the effectiveness of the two-stage digestion process compared to single mesophilic fermentation which not always completely eliminates the above indicators.

Open access

Jan Suschka, Eligiusz Kowalski, Jerzy Mazierski and Klaudiusz Grübel

Abstract

Improving the effects of hydrolysis on waste activated sludge (WAS) prior to anaerobic digestion is of primary importance. Several technologies have been developed and partially implemented in practice. In this paper, perhaps the simplest of these methods, alkaline solubilization, has been investigated and the results of hydrolysis are presented. An increase to only pH 8 can distinctively increase the soluble chemical oxygen demand (SCOD), and produce an anaerobic condition effect favorable to volatile fatty acids (VFA) production. Further increases of pH, up to pH 10, leads to further improvements in hydrolysis effects. It is suggested that an increase to pH 9 is sufficient and feasible for technical operations, given the use of moderate anti-corrosive construction material. This recommendation is also made having taken in consideration the option of using hydrodynamic disintegration after the initial WAS hydrolysis process. This paper presents the effects of following alkaline solubilization with hydrodynamic disintegration on SCOD