[Improvement of municipal sewage sludge dewaterability by bioleaching: a pilot-scale study with sequence batch reaction model].
ABSTRACT To observe the bioleaching effect on sewage sludge dewaterability, three consecutive batch bioleaching experiments were conducted through a bioleaching bio-reactor with 700 L of working volume. Subsequently, the bioleached sludge was dewatered by using chamber filter press. The results show that the 1st batch bioleaching process can be finished within 90 hours if the aeration amount was 1.2 m3/h with the 1: 15 mixing ratio of bioleached sludge to raw sludge. The pH of sludge declines from initial 6.11 to 2.33 while ORP increased from initial -134 mV to finial 507 mV. The specific resistance to filtration (SRF) of the tested sludge was decreased from original 1.00 x 10(13) m/kg to final 0.09 x 10(13) m/kg after bioleaching. For the subsequent two batch trials, the bioleaching process can be finished in 40 hours and 46 hours, respectively. Likewise, sludge SRF is also significantly decreased to 0.19 x 10(13) m/kg and 0.36 x 10(13) m/kg if the mixing ratio of bioleached sludge to fresh sludge is 1:1 although the microbial nutrient substance dosage is reduced by 25% and 50% for 2nd, and 3rd batch experiments, respectively. The harvested bioleached sludge from three batch trails is dewatered by chamber filter press with 0.3-0.4 MPa working pressure for 2 hours. It is found that the moisture of dewatered sludge cake can be reduced to 58%, and that the dewatered sludge cake is of khaki appearance and didn't emit any offensive odor. In addition, it is also observes that sludge organic matter only changed a bit from 52.9% to 48.0%, but 58% of sludge-borne Cu and 88% of sludge-borne Zn can be removed from sludge by bioleaching process. Therefore, dual goals for sludge-borne heavy metal removal and sludge dewatering of high efficiency can be achieved simultaneously through the approach mentioned above. Therefore, bioleaching technique is of great engineering application for the treatment of sewage sludge.