Author(s): Mikkelsen LH, Keiding K
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Abstract An investigation was carried out for a variety of different sewage sludges in order to establish correlations between sludge composition, structure and dewatering properties. Results indicated that the fraction of extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) in sludges was the most important parameter with respect to sludge structure. With high EPS contents, sludges had a lower shear sensitivity and lower degree of dispersion. This in turn lead to better filterability in terms of low resistance to filtration (SRF). The floc stabilising role of EPS components was not consistent with DLVO-theory, as the zeta-potential increased with increased EPS content due to increased EPS charge content. This indicates that polymer entanglement is a key factor to stable floc structure. This does not rule out the possible change in dispersion due to changed electrostatic repulsion for a given EPS content. While EPS had a good effect on floc stability and filterability, the cake dry matter content decreased with large EPS contents. This could be due to an osmotic pressure related to the polymer charge quantity, or it could be caused by water entrapment in the floc structures. A high degree of sludge dispersion increased the cake dry matter content in filtration. This mechanism is, however, impractical due to high SRF and not important to conditioned sludge. In practice, dewatering also includes sludge expression. Taking this into account, osmosis related to EPS charges is likely to be increasingly important (increasing the negative effect of EPS content on cake dry matter).
This article was published in Water Res
and referenced in Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation