Influence of Alkaline-Thermal Pretreatment on High-Solids Anaerobic Digestion of Dewatered Activated Sludge

Haigang Guo, Lianzhu Du, Junfeng Liang, Zengjun Yang, Guohua Cui, Keqiang Zhang


The influence of alkaline (23.77 mg NaOH/g total solid), thermal (134.95 °C), and combined alkaline-thermal pretreatment on parameters of dewatered activated sludge (DAS) during high-solids anaerobic digestion was investigated. Soluble chemical oxygen demand (SCOD), soluble proteins, and VFAs (volatile fatty acids) concentrations were significantly higher (by two-fold) in pretreated DAS samples than in the control. During subsequent anaerobic digestion, the concentrations first increased and then decreased. Total chemical oxygen demand (TCOD) decreased by 28.40% to 40.92%, and ammonia nitrogen accumulated during anaerobic digestion. For the alkaline, thermal, and alkaline-thermal pretreatments, daily methane yield significantly increased in mid-anaerobic digestion and cumulative methane yield (CMY) increased by 9.92, 35.25, and 52.95%, respectively, relative to the control. There were clear synergistic effects of alkaline-thermal pretreatment, resulting in a 17.20% increase in CMY compared with the sum of the separate alkaline and thermal pretreatments. Therefore, alkaline-thermal pretreatment was helpful for high-solids anaerobic digestion of DAS and was an effective pretreatment method. Gompertz model fitting to the CMY curve produced determination coefficients (R2) greater than 0.9931 for all pretreatments, which was better than for a first-order kinetic model fitting curve.


High-solid anaerobic digestion; Dewatered activated sludge; Methane yield; Alkaline-thermal pretreatment

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