Disintegration of sewage sludge using pulsed electrical field technique: PEF optimization, simulation, and anaerobic digestion

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Kuscu O. S., Çömlekçi S., Cort N.

ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGY, vol.43, no.18, pp.2809-2824, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 43 Issue: 18
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/09593330.2021.1906324
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, EMBASE, Environment Index, Geobase, Greenfile, INSPEC, MEDLINE, Metadex, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, DIALNET, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.2809-2824
  • Keywords: Anaerobic, Box–Wilson statistical, disintegration, pulsed electrical field, sewage sludge
  • Süleyman Demirel University Affiliated: Yes


A Pulsed Electrical Field (PEF) reactor was developed to process biological sludge as a pretreatment method prior to anaerobic digestion. This study focuses on the effects of operational parameters such as applied voltage, pH, conductivity, flow-rate, and temperature affecting the treatment of waste active sludge (WAS) by PEF, the simulation of reactor process conditions and anaerobic biodegradation of PEF pretreated sludge. The effects of the sludge conductivity, flow-rate, and temperature on the Soluble Chemical Oxygen Demand (SCOD) of WAS treated by PEF reactor were investigated by using a Box-Wilson statistical experiment design. Simulations of the PEF process conditions were performed to verify experimental results. After PEF optimization study, the PEF operational conditions for maximum SCOD were obtained at 4 mS/cm conductivity, 5 mL/min flow-rate, and 40 degrees C temperature during PEF treatment. The measured and predicted SCOD showed a good consistency (R (2 )= 0.92). After it was pretreated by the PEF, the SCOD, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, polysaccharide and protein contents of WAS increased. However filterability property also decreased. In the anaerobic digestion study, the reactor fed with the PEF pretreated WAS provided 1.70 times higher methane production compared with raw sludge. In addition to this situation, 18% and 19% improvements, respectively, were observed in SCOD and VSS reductions when it was compared with raw sludge in the 23 days of anaerobic operation. Sixteen percent decrease in CST showed that the PEF enhanced the ?lterability of WAS during the anaerobic stabilization.