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COMPARATIVE STUDY – PHARMACEUTICAL RESIDUES IN WASTEWATER AND SLUDGE FROM A MICORALGAE PLANT AND AN ACTIVATED SLUDGE PROCESS
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0861-6438
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3485-5440
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3311-9465
Mälarenergi AB, Sweden.
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2016 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This study explores the possibility of using a microalgae based activated sludge – process (MAAS-process) to increase the reduction of pharmaceutical residues in outgoing wastewater, compared to a conventional wastewater treatment plant with activated sludge process. In an on-site study, residual sludge from four pilot scale digesters fed with primary sludge and waste activated sludge or microalgae were sampled and analysed for pharmaceutical residues. The aim of the study was to compare the reduction efficiencies of a microalgae based process with a conventional biological treatment and also to explore the reduction of the residues in the different process steps including the sewage sludge thickening before the anaerobic digestion, the digestion and the secondary treatment with the sludge dewatering process. The results show that the total reduction of pharmaceutical residues in the water phase appears to be significantly higher in the MAAS-process. The substance diclofenac was not degraded in any of the biological processes in the study. The reduction of pharmaceutical residues in digested sludge seems to be higher in mesophilic conditions compared with thermophilic conditions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
Keywords [en]
Microalgae plant, municipal wastewater, anaerobic digestion, pharmaceutical residues
National Category
Engineering and Technology Environmental Engineering
Research subject
Biotechnology/Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-34259OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-34259DiVA, id: diva2:1057107
Conference
5th International Conference on Industrial & Hazardous Waste Manangement, 27-30 September, 2016, Crete, Greece
Available from: 2016-12-16 Created: 2016-12-16 Last updated: 2018-05-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Co-digestion of microalgae and sewage sludge - A feasibility study for municipal wastewater treatment plants
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Co-digestion of microalgae and sewage sludge - A feasibility study for municipal wastewater treatment plants
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The increased emissions of anthropogenic greenhouse gases over the last 100 years is the reason for the acceleration in the greenhouse effect, which has led to an increase of the globally averaged combined land and ocean surface temperature of 0.85 °C between 1880 and 2012. A small fraction of the increased anthropogenic greenhouse gases originates from municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs).

This doctoral thesis was part of a larger investigation of using an alternative biological treatment based on the symbiosis of microalgae and bacteria (MAAS-process (microalgae and activated sludge)). This solution could be more energy efficient and potentially consume carbon dioxide from fossil combustion processes and also directly capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and thereby reduce the addition of anthropogenic greenhouse gases to the air.

 The objective of the thesis was to explore the effects when the microalgae-derived biomass from the biological treatment were co-digested with sewage sludge. The results from these experimental studies were then used to evaluate the effects on a system level when implementing microalgae in municipal WWTP.

 Microalgae grown from a synthetic medium improved the methane yield with up to 23% in mesophilic conditions when part of the sewage sludge was replaced by the microalgae. The microalgae grown from municipal wastewater showed no synergetic effect.

 In the semi-continuous experiments the methane yield was slightly reduced when implementing the microalgae. Furthermore the digestibility of the co-digestion between sewage sludge and microalgae were lower compared to the digestion of sewage sludge.

 The digestates containing microalgal substrate had higher heavy metals content than digestates containing only sewage sludge. This could have a negative effect on the potential to use this digestate on arable land in future, due to strict limits from the authorities.  Filterability measurements indicated that the addition of microalgae enhanced the dewaterability of the digested sludge and lowered the demand for polyelectrolyte significantly.

 When a hypothetical MAAS-process replaced a conventional ASP-process the amount of feedstock of biomass increased significantly due to the increased production from the autotrophic microalgae. This increased the biogas production by 66-210% and reduced the heavy metal concentration in the digestate due to a dilution effect from the increased biomass production.

 The thesis demonstrates that microalgae in combination with bacteria from a MAAS-process can be a realistic alternative feedstock to WAS in the anaerobic digestion at a municipal WWTP. A few drawbacks need to be considered when choosing a MAAS-process as biological treatment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University, 2018. p. 96
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 262
Keywords
Microalgae, Anaerobic digestion, dewaterability, BMP-experiments
National Category
Water Treatment
Research subject
Energy- and Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-39154 (URN)978-91-7485-386-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-06-18, Paros, Mälardalens högskola, Västerås, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2018-05-07 Created: 2018-05-07 Last updated: 2018-06-04Bibliographically approved

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Olsson, JesperThorin, EvaNehrenheim, EmmaSchwede, Sebastian

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