Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 16

Sludge Related Abstracts

16 Factors Affecting Aluminum Dissolve from Acidified Water Purification Sludge

Authors: Wen Po Cheng, Chi Hua Fu, Ping Hung Chen, Ruey Fang Yu


Recovering resources from water purification sludge (WPS) have been gradually stipulated in environmental protection laws and regulations in many nations. Hence, reusing the WPS is becoming an important topic, and recovering alum from WPS is one of the many practical alternatives. Most previous research efforts have been conducted on studying the amphoteric characteristic of aluminum hydroxide for investigating the optimum pH range to dissolve the Al(III) species from WPS, but it has been lack of reaction kinetics or mechanisms related discussion. Therefore, in this investigation, water purification sludge (WPS) solution was broken by ultrasound to make particle size of reactants smaller, specific surface area larger. According to the reaction kinetics, these phenomena let the dissolved aluminum salt quantity increased and the reaction rate go faster.

Keywords: Recovery, acidification, Sludge, Aluminum

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15 Dehydration of Residues from WTP for Application in Building Materials and Reuse of Water from the Waste Treatment: A Feasible Solution to Complete Treatment Systems

Authors: Flavio Araujo, Paulo Scalize, Antonio Albuquerque, Marco Correa


The increasing reduction of the volumes of surface water sources which supply most municipalities, as well as the continued rise of demand for treated water, combined with the disposal of effluents from washing of decanters and filters of the water treatment plants, generates a continuous search for correct environmentally solutions to these problems. The effluents generated by the water treatment industry need to be suitably processed for return to the environment or re-use. This article shows an alternative for the dehydration of sludge from the water treatment plants (WTP) and eventual disposal of sludge drained. Using the simple design methodology, we present a case study for a drainage in tanks geotextile, full-scale, which involve five sludge drainage tanks from WTP of the Rio Verde City. Aiming to the reutilization the water drained from the sludge and enabling its reuse both at the beginning of the treatment process at the WTP and in less noble services as for watering the gardens of the local town hall. The sludge will be used to production of building materials.

Keywords: Sustainable, Re-use, Sludge, residue, water treatment plants

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14 Treatment Process of Sludge from Leachate with an Activated Sludge System and Extended Aeration System

Authors: A. Chávez, A. Rodríguez, F. Pinzón


Society is concerned about measures of environmental, economic and social impacts generated in the solid waste disposal. These places of confinement, also known as landfills, are locations where problems of pollution and damage to human health are reduced. They are technically designed and operated, using engineering principles, storing the residue in a small area, compact it to reduce volume and covering them with soil layers. Problems preventing liquid (leachate) and gases produced by the decomposition of organic matter. Despite planning and site selection for disposal, monitoring and control of selected processes, remains the dilemma of the leachate as extreme concentration of pollutants, devastating soil, flora and fauna; aggressive processes requiring priority attention. A biological technology is the activated sludge system, used for tributaries with high pollutant loads. Since transforms biodegradable dissolved and particulate matter into CO2, H2O and sludge; transform suspended and no Settleable solids; change nutrients as nitrogen and phosphorous; and degrades heavy metals. The microorganisms that remove organic matter in the processes are in generally facultative heterotrophic bacteria, forming heterogeneous populations. Is possible to find unicellular fungi, algae, protozoa and rotifers, that process the organic carbon source and oxygen, as well as the nitrogen and phosphorus because are vital for cell synthesis. The mixture of the substrate, in this case sludge leachate, molasses and wastewater is maintained ventilated by mechanical aeration diffusers. Considering as the biological processes work to remove dissolved material (< 45 microns), generating biomass, easily obtained by decantation processes. The design consists of an artificial support and aeration pumps, favoring develop microorganisms (denitrifying) using oxygen (O) with nitrate, resulting in nitrogen (N) in the gas phase. Thus, avoiding negative effects of the presence of ammonia or phosphorus. Overall the activated sludge system includes about 8 hours of hydraulic retention time, which does not prevent the demand for nitrification, which occurs on average in a value of MLSS 3,000 mg/L. The extended aeration works with times greater than 24 hours detention; with ratio of organic load/biomass inventory under 0.1; and average stay time (sludge age) more than 8 days. This project developed a pilot system with sludge leachate from Doña Juana landfill - RSDJ –, located in Bogota, Colombia, where they will be subjected to a process of activated sludge and extended aeration through a sequential Bach reactor - SBR, to be dump in hydric sources, avoiding ecological collapse. The system worked with a dwell time of 8 days, 30 L capacity, mainly by removing values of BOD and COD above 90%, with initial data of 1720 mg/L and 6500 mg/L respectively. Motivating the deliberate nitrification is expected to be possible commercial use diffused aeration systems for sludge leachate from landfills.

Keywords: Leachate, Landfill, Sludge, SBR

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13 Waste from Drinking Water Treatment: The Feasibility for Application in Building Materials

Authors: Marco Correa


The increasing reduction of the volumes of surface water sources supplying most municipalities, as well as the rising demand for treated water, combined with the disposal of effluents from washing of decanters and filters of water treatment plants generates a continuous search for correct environmentally solutions to these problems. The effluents generated by the water treatment industry need to be suitably processed for return to the environment or re-use. This article shows alternatives for sludge dehydration from the water treatment plants (WTP) and eventual disposal of sludge drained. Using the simple design methodology, it is presented a case study for drainage in tanks geotextile, full-scale, which involve five sledge drainage tanks from WTP of the city of Rio Verde. Aiming to the reutilization of drained water from the sledge and enabling its reuse both at the beginning of the treatment process at the WTP and in less noble services as for watering the gardens of the local town hall. The sludge will be used to in the production of building materials.

Keywords: Re-use, Sludge, dehydration, effluent discharges, WTP sludge

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12 Alternatives to the Disposal of Sludge from Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants

Authors: Lima Priscila, Gianotto Raiza, Arruda Leonan, Magalhães Filho Fernando


Industrialization and especially the accentuated population growth in developing countries and the lack of drainage, public cleaning, water and sanitation services has caused concern about the need for expansion of water treatment units and sewage. However, these units have been generating by-products, such as the sludge. This paper aims to investigate aspects of operation and maintenance of sludge from a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP - 90 L.s-1) and two water treatment plants (WTPs; 1.4 m3.s-1 and 0.5 m3.s-1) for the purpose of proper disposal and reuse, evaluating their qualitative and quantitative characteristics, the Brazilian legislation and standards. It was concluded that the sludge from the water treatment plants is directly related to the quality of raw water collected, and it becomes feasible for use in construction materials, and to dispose it in the sewage system, improving the efficiency of the WWTP regarding precipitation of phosphorus (35% of removal). The WTP Lageado had 55,726 kg/month of sludge production, more than WTP Guariroba (29,336 kg/month), even though the flow of WTP Guariroba is 1,400 L.s-1 and the WTP Lagedo 500 L.s-1, being explained by the quality that influences more than the flow. The WWTP sludge have higher concentrations of organic materials due to their origin and could be used to improve the fertility of the soil, crop production and recovery of degraded areas. The volume of sludge generated at the WWTP was 1,760 ton/month, with 5.6% of solid content in the raw sludge and in the dewatered sludge it increased its content to 23%.

Keywords: wastewater treatment, Water Treatment, Disposal, Sludge

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11 Industrial Wastewater Sludge Treatment in Chongqing, China

Authors: Jiang Wenchao, Yasinta John, Md. Sahadat Hossain, Victor Emery David Jr.


Sludge originates from the process of treatment of wastewater. It is the byproduct of wastewater treatment containing concentrated heavy metals and poorly biodegradable trace organic compounds, as well as potentially pathogenic organisms (viruses, bacteria, etc.) which are usually difficult to treat or dispose of. China, like other countries, is no stranger to the challenges posed by an increase of wastewater. Treatment and disposal of sludge have been a problem for most cities in China. However, this problem has been exacerbated by other issues such as lack of technology, funding, and other factors. Suitable methods for such climatic conditions are still unavailable for modern cities in China. Against this background, this paper seeks to describe the methods used for treatment and disposal of sludge from industries and suggest a suitable method for treatment and disposal in Chongqing/China. From the research conducted, it was discovered that the highest treatment rate of sludge in Chongqing was 10.08%. The industrial waste piping system is not separated from the domestic system. Considering the proliferation of industry and urbanization, there is a likelihood that the production of sludge in Chongqing will increase. If the sludge produced is not properly managed, this may lead to adverse health and environmental effects. Disposal costs and methods for Chongqing were also included in this paper’s analysis. Research showed that incineration is the most expensive method of sludge disposal in China/Chongqing. Subsequent research, therefore, considered optional alternatives such as composting. Composting represents a relatively cheap waste disposal method considering the vast population, current technology and economic conditions of Chongqing, as well as China at large.

Keywords: Industrial, treatment, Disposal, Sludge, Chongqing/China

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10 Optimization of the Drinking Water Treatment Process

Authors: M. Farhaoui, M. Derraz


Problem statement: In the water treatment processes, the coagulation and flocculation processes produce sludge according to the level of the water turbidity. The aluminum sulfate is the most common coagulant used in water treatment plants of Morocco as well as many countries. It is difficult to manage the sludge produced by the treatment plant. However, it can be used in the process to improve the quality of the treated water and reduce the aluminum sulfate dose. Approach: In this study, the effectiveness of sludge was evaluated at different turbidity levels (low, medium, and high turbidity) and coagulant dosage to find optimal operational conditions. The influence of settling time was also studied. A set of jar test experiments was conducted to find the sludge and aluminum sulfate dosages in order to improve the produced water quality for different turbidity levels. Results: Results demonstrated that using sludge produced by the treatment plant can improve the quality of the produced water and reduce the aluminum sulfate using. The aluminum sulfate dosage can be reduced from 40 to 50% according to the turbidity level (10, 20 and 40 NTU). Conclusions/Recommendations: Results show that sludge can be used in order to reduce the aluminum sulfate dosage and improve the quality of treated water. The highest turbidity removal efficiency is observed within 6 mg/l of aluminum sulfate and 35 mg/l of sludge in low turbidity, 20 mg/l of aluminum sulfate and 50 mg/l of sludge in medium turbidity and 20 mg/l of aluminum sulfate and 60 mg/l of sludge in high turbidity. The turbidity removal efficiency is 97.56%, 98.96% and 99.47% respectively for low, medium and high turbidity levels.

Keywords: Sludge, coagulation process, coagulant dose, turbidity removal

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9 Incineration of Sludge in a Fluidized-Bed Combustor

Authors: Chien-Song Chyang, Yu-Chi Wang


For sludge disposal, incineration is considered to be better than direct burial because of regulations and space limitations in Taiwan. Additionally, burial after incineration can effectively prolong the lifespan of a landfill. Therefore, it is the most satisfactory method for treating sludge at present. Of the various incineration technologies, the fluidized bed incinerator is a suitable choice due to its fuel flexibility. In this work, sludge generated from industrial plants was treated in a pilot-scale vortexing fluidized bed. The moisture content of the sludge was 48.53%, and its LHV was 454.6 kcal/kg. Primary gas and secondary gas were fixed at 3 Nm3/min and 1 Nm3/min, respectively. Diesel burners with on-off controllers were used to control the temperature; the bed temperature was set to 750±20 °C, and the freeboard temperature was 850±20 °C. The experimental data show that the NO emission increased with bed temperature. The maximum NO emission is 139 ppm, which is in agreement with the regulation. The CO emission is low than 100 ppm through the operation period. The mean particle size of fly ash collected from baghouse decreased with operating time. The ration of bottom ash to fly ash is about 3. Compared with bottom ash, the potassium in the fly ash is much higher. It implied that the potassium content is not the key factor for aggregation of bottom ash.

Keywords: Incineration, Sludge, fluidized-bed combustion, bottom ash

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8 Sewage Sludge Management: A Case Study of Monrovia, Montserrado County, Liberia

Authors: Victor Emery David Jr, Md S. Hossain


Sewage sludge management has been a problem faced by most developing cities as in the case of Monrovia. The management of sewage sludge in Monrovia is still in its infant stage. The city is still struggling with poor sanitation, clogged pipes, shortage of septic tanks, lack of resources/human capacity, inadequate treatment facilities, open defecation, the absence of clear guidelines, etc. The rapid urban population growth of Monrovia has severely stressed Monrovia’s marginally functional urban WSS system caused by the civil conflict which led to break down in many sectors as well as infrastructure. The sewerage system which originally covered 17% of the population of Monrovia was down to serving about 7% because of bursts and blockages causing backflows in other areas. Prior to the Civil War, the average water production for Monrovia was about 68,000 m3/day but has now dropped to about 10,000 m3/day. Only small parts of Monrovia currently have direct access to the piped water supply while most areas depend on trucked water delivered to community collection points or household tanks, and/or on water from unprotected dug wells or hand pumps. There are only two functional treatment plants; The Fiamah Treatment plant and the White Plains Treatment Plant.

Keywords: Management, Sludge, Sewage, Fiamah Treatment plant, Monrovia/Montserrado County

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7 Producing Sustained Renewable Energy and Removing Organic Pollutants from Distillery Wastewater using Consortium of Sludge Microbes

Authors: Anubha Kaushik, Raman Preet


Distillery wastewater in the form of spent wash is a complex and strong industrial effluent, with high load of organic pollutants that may deplete dissolved oxygen on being discharged into aquatic systems and contaminate groundwater by leaching of pollutants, while untreated spent wash disposed on land acidifies the soil. Stringent legislative measures have therefore been framed in different countries for discharge standards of distillery effluent. Utilising the organic pollutants present in various types of wastes as food by mixed microbial populations is emerging as an eco-friendly approach in the recent years, in which complex organic matter is converted into simpler forms, and simultaneously useful gases are produced as renewable and clean energy sources. In the present study, wastewater from a rice bran based distillery has been used as the substrate in a dark fermenter, and native microbial consortium from the digester sludge has been used as the inoculum to treat the wastewater and produce hydrogen. After optimising the operational conditions in batch reactors, sequential batch mode and continuous flow stirred tank reactors were used to study the best operational conditions for enhanced and sustained hydrogen production and removal of pollutants. Since the rate of hydrogen production by the microbial consortium during dark fermentation is influenced by concentration of organic matter, pH and temperature, these operational conditions were optimised in batch mode studies. Maximum hydrogen production rate (347.87ml/L/d) was attained in 32h dark fermentation while a good proportion of COD also got removed from the wastewater. Slightly acidic initial pH seemed to favor biohydrogen production. In continuous stirred tank reactor, high H2 production from distillery wastewater was obtained from a relatively shorter substrate retention time (SRT) of 48h and a moderate organic loading rate (OLR) of 172 g/l/d COD.

Keywords: Hydrogen, Sludge, microbial consortium, organic pollution, distillery wastewater

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6 Optimization of Process Parameters for Copper Extraction from Wastewater Treatment Sludge by Sulfuric Acid

Authors: Usarat Thawornchaisit, Kamalasiri Juthaisong, Kasama Parsongjeen, Phonsiri Phoengchan


In this study, sludge samples that were collected from the wastewater treatment plant of a printed circuit board manufacturing industry in Thailand were subjected to acid extraction using sulfuric acid as the chemical extracting agent. The effects of sulfuric acid concentration (A), the ratio of a volume of acid to a quantity of sludge (B) and extraction time (C) on the efficiency of copper extraction were investigated with the aim of finding the optimal conditions for maximum removal of copper from the wastewater treatment sludge. Factorial experimental design was employed to model the copper extraction process. The results were analyzed statistically using analysis of variance to identify the process variables that were significantly affected the copper extraction efficiency. Results showed that all linear terms and an interaction term between volume of acid to quantity of sludge ratio and extraction time (BC), had statistically significant influence on the efficiency of copper extraction under tested conditions in which the most significant effect was ascribed to volume of acid to quantity of sludge ratio (B), followed by sulfuric acid concentration (A), extraction time (C) and interaction term of BC, respectively. The remaining two-way interaction terms, (AB, AC) and the three-way interaction term (ABC) is not statistically significant at the significance level of 0.05. The model equation was derived for the copper extraction process and the optimization of the process was performed using a multiple response method called desirability (D) function to optimize the extraction parameters by targeting maximum removal. The optimum extraction conditions of 99% of copper were found to be sulfuric acid concentration: 0.9 M, ratio of the volume of acid (mL) to the quantity of sludge (g) at 100:1 with an extraction time of 80 min. Experiments under the optimized conditions have been carried out to validate the accuracy of the Model.

Keywords: Waste Management, Sludge, chemical extraction, acid treatment

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5 Industrial Wastewater from Paper Mills Used for Biofuel Production and Soil Improvement

Authors: Karin M. Granstrom


Paper mills produce wastewater with a high content of organic substances. Treatment usually consists of sedimentation, biological treatment of activated sludge basins, and chemical precipitation. The resulting sludges are currently a waste problem, deposited in landfills or used as low-grade fuels for incineration. There is a growing awareness of the need for energy efficiency and environmentally sound management of sludge. A resource-efficient method would be to digest the wastewater sludges anaerobically to produce biogas, refine the biogas to biomethane for use in the transportation sector, and utilize the resulting digestate for soil improvement. The biomethane yield of pulp and paper wastewater sludge is comparable to that of straw or manure. As a bonus, the digestate has an improved dewaterability compared to the feedstock biosludge. Limitations of this process are predominantly a weak economic viability - necessitating both sufficiently large-scale paper production for the necessary large amounts of produced wastewater sludge, and the resolving of remaining questions on the certifiability of the digestate and thus its sales price. A way to improve the practical and economical feasibility of using paper mill wastewater for biomethane production and soil improvement is to co-digest it with other feedstocks. In this study, pulp and paper sludge were co-digested with (1) silage and manure, (2) municipal sewage sludge, (3) food waste, or (4) microalgae. Biomethane yield analysis was performed in 500 ml batch reactors, using an Automatic Methane Potential Test System at thermophilic temperature, with a 20 days test duration. The results show that (1) the harvesting season of grass silage and manure collection was an important factor for methane production, with spring feedstocks producing much more than autumn feedstock, and pulp mill sludge benefitting the most from co-digestion; (2) pulp and paper mill sludge is a suitable co-substrate to add when a high nitrogen content cause impaired biogas production due to ammonia inhibition; (3) the combination of food waste and paper sludge gave higher methane yield than either of the substrates digested separately; (4) pure microalgae gave the highest methane yield. In conclusion, although pulp and paper mills are an almost untapped resource for biomethane production, their wastewater is a suitable feedstock for such a process. Furthermore, through co-digestion, the pulp and paper mill wastewater and mill sludges can aid biogas production from more nutrient-rich waste streams from other industries. Such co-digestion also enhances the soil improvement properties of the residue digestate.

Keywords: Soil, Biogas, Sludge, paper, biomethane, anaerobic

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4 Recovery of Selenium from Scrubber Sludge in Copper Process

Authors: Lakshmikanth Reddy, Bhavin Desai, Chandrakala Kari, Sanjay Sarkar, Pradeep Binu


The sulphur dioxide gases generated as a by-product of smelting and converting operations of copper concentrate contain selenium apart from zinc, lead, copper, cadmium, bismuth, antimony, and arsenic. The gaseous stream is treated in waste heat boiler, electrostatic precipitator and scrubbers to remove coarse particulate matter in order to produce commercial grade sulfuric acid. The gas cleaning section of the acid plant uses water to scrub the smelting gases. After scrubbing, the sludge settled at the bottom of the scrubber, was analyzed in present investigation. It was found to contain 30 to 40 wt% copper and selenium up to 40 wt% selenium. The sludge collected during blow-down is directly recycled to the smelter for copper recovery. However, the selenium is expected to again vaporize due to high oxidation potential during smelting and converting, causing accumulation of selenium in sludge. In present investigation, a roasting process has been developed to recover the selenium before the copper recovery from the sludge at smelter. Selenium is associated with copper in sludge as copper selenide, as determined by X-ray diffraction and electron microscopy. The thermodynamic and thermos-gravimetry study revealed that the copper selenide phase present in the sludge was amenable to oxidation at 600°C forming oxides of copper and selenium (Cu-Se-O). However, the dissociation of selenium from the copper oxide was made possible by sulfatation using sulfur dioxide between 450 to 600°C, resulting into the formation of CuSO₄ (s) and SeO₂ (g). Lab scale trials were carried out in vertical tubular furnace to determine the optimum roasting conditions with respect to roasting time, temperature and molar ratio of O₂:SO₂. Using these optimum conditions, selenium up to 90 wt% in the form of SeO₂ vapors could be recovered from the sludge in a large-scale commercial roaster. Roasted sludge free from the selenium and containing oxides and sulfates of copper could now be recycled in the smelter for copper recovery.

Keywords: Sludge, Copper, Selenium, roasting, copper selenide, SeO₂

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3 Ragging and Sludging Measurement in Membrane Bioreactors

Authors: Pompilia Buzatu, Mustafa Nasser, Hazim Qiblawey, Albert Odai, Jana Jamaleddin, Simon J. Judd


Membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology is challenged by the tendency for the membrane permeability to decrease due to ‘clogging’. Clogging includes ‘sludging’, the filling of the membrane channels with sludge solids, and ‘ragging’, the aggregation of short filaments to form long rag-like particles. Both sludging and ragging demand manual intervention to clear out the solids, which is time-consuming, labour-intensive and potentially damaging to the membranes. These factors impact on costs more significantly than membrane surface fouling which, unlike clogging, is largely mitigated by the chemical clean. However, practical evaluation of MBR clogging has thus far been limited. This paper presents the results of recent work attempting to quantify sludging and clogging based on simple bench-scale tests. Results from a novel ragging simulation trial indicated that rags can be formed within 24-36 hours from dispersed < 5 mm-long filaments at concentrations of 5-10 mg/L under gently agitated conditions. Rag formation occurred for both a cotton wool standard and samples taken from an operating municipal MBR, with between 15% and 75% of the added fibrous material forming a single rag. The extent of rag formation depended both on the material type or origin – lint from laundering operations forming zero rags – and the filament length. Sludging rates were quantified using a bespoke parallel-channel test cell representing the membrane channels of an immersed flat sheet MBR. Sludge samples were provided from two local MBRs, one treating municipal and the other industrial effluent. Bulk sludge properties measured comprised mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS) concentration, capillary suction time (CST), particle size, soluble COD (sCOD) and rheology (apparent viscosity μₐ vs shear rate γ). The fouling and sludging propensity of the sludge was determined using the test cell, ‘fouling’ being quantified as the pressure incline rate against flux via the flux step test (for which clogging was absent) and sludging by photographing the channel and processing the image to determine the ratio of the clogged to unclogged regions. A substantial difference in rheological and fouling behaviour was evident between the two sludge sources, the industrial sludge having a higher viscosity but less shear-thinning than the municipal. Fouling, as manifested by the pressure increase Δp/Δt, as a function of flux from classic flux-step experiments (where no clogging was evident), was more rapid for the industrial sludge. Across all samples of both sludge origins the expected trend of increased fouling propensity with increased CST and sCOD was demonstrated, whereas no correlation was observed between clogging rate and these parameters. The relative contribution of fouling and clogging was appraised by adjusting the clogging propensity via increasing the MLSS both with and without a commensurate increase in the COD. Results indicated that whereas for the municipal sludge the fouling propensity was affected by the increased sCOD, there was no associated increased in the sludging propensity (or cake formation). The clogging rate actually decreased on increasing the MLSS. Against this, for the industrial sludge the clogging rate dramatically increased with solids concentration despite a decrease in the soluble COD. From this was surmised that sludging did not relate to fouling.

Keywords: Sludge, Membrane Bioreactors, ragging, clogging

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2 Influence of Initial Curing Time, Water Content and Apparent Water Content on Geopolymer Modified Sludge Generated in Landslide Area

Authors: Minh Chien Vu, Tomoaki Satomi, Hiroshi Takahashi


As being lack of sufficient strength to support the loading of construction as well as service life cause the clay content and clay mineralogy, soft and highly compressible soils (sludge) constitute a major problem in geotechnical engineering projects. Geopolymer, a kind of inorganic polymer, is a promising material with a wide range of applications and offers a lower level of CO₂ emissions than conventional Portland cement. However, the feasibility of geopolymer in term of modified the soft and highly compressible soil has not been received much attention due to the requirement of heat treatment for activating the fly ash component and the existence of high content of clay-size particles in the composition of sludge that affected on the efficiency of the reaction. On the other hand, the geopolymer modified sludge could be affected by other important factors such as initial curing time, initial water content and apparent water content. Therefore, this paper describes a different potential application of geopolymer: soil stabilization in landslide areas to adapt to the technical properties of sludge so that heavy machines can move on. Sludge condition process is utilized to demonstrate the possibility for stabilizing sludge using fly ash-based geopolymer at ambient curing condition ( ± 20 °C) in term of failure strength, strain and bulk density. Sludge conditioning is a process whereby sludge is treated with chemicals or various other means to improve the dewatering characteristics of sludge before applying in the construction area. The effect of initial curing time, water content and apparent water content on the modification of sludge are the main focus of this study. Test results indicate that the initial curing time has potential for improving failure strain and strength of modified sludge with the specific condition of soft soil. The result further shows that the initial water content over than 50% total mass of sludge could significantly lead to a decrease of strength performance of geopolymer-based modified sludge. The optimum apparent water content of geopolymer modified sludge is strongly influenced by the amount of geopolymer content and initial water content of sludge. The solution to minimize the effect of high initial water content will be considered deeper in the future.

Keywords: fly ash, Sludge, Landslide, Geopolymer, sludge conditioning

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1 Farmers’ Perception, Willingness and Capacity in Utilization of Household Sewage Sludge as Organic Resources for Peri-Urban Agriculture around Jos Nigeria

Authors: C. C. Alamanjo, A. O. Adepoju, H. Martin, R. N. Baines


Peri-urban agriculture in Jos Nigeria serves as a major means of livelihood for both urban and peri-urban poor, and constitutes huge commercial inclination with a target market that has spanned beyond Plateau State. Yet, the sustainability of this sector is threatened by intensive application of urban refuse ash contaminated with heavy metals, as a result of the highly heterogeneous materials used in ash production. Hence, this research aimed to understand the current fertilizer employed by farmers, their perception and acceptability in utilization of household sewage sludge for agricultural purposes and their capacity in mitigating risks associated with such practice. Mixed methods approach was adopted, and data collection tools used include survey questionnaire, focus group discussion with farmers, participants and field observation. The study identified that farmers maintain a complex mixture of organic and chemical fertilizers, with mixture composition that is dependent on fertilizer availability and affordability. Also, farmers have decreased the rate of utilization of urban refuse ash due to labor and increased logistic cost and are keen to utilize household sewage sludge for soil fertility improvement but are mainly constrained by accessibility of this waste product. Nevertheless, farmers near to sewage disposal points have commenced utilization of household sewage sludge for improving soil fertility. Farmers were knowledgeable on composting but find their strategic method of dewatering and sun drying more convenient. Irrigation farmers were not enthusiastic for treatment, as they desired both water and sludge. Secondly, household sewage sludge observed in the field is heterogeneous due to nearness between its disposal point and that of urban refuse, which raises concern for possible cross-contamination of pollutants and also portrays lack of extension guidance as regards to treatment and management of household sewage sludge for agricultural purposes. Hence, farmers concerns need to be addressed, particularly in providing extension advice and establishment of decentralized household sewage sludge collection centers, for continuous availability of liquid and concentrated sludge. Urgent need is also required for the Federal Government of Nigeria to increase commitment towards empowering her subsidiaries for efficient discharge of corporate responsibilities.

Keywords: Urban, Sludge, Sewage, household, farmers, ash, refuse, peri-urban

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