Effect of co-digestion and hydrodynamic disintegration on the methane potential of sewage sludge and organic fraction of municipal solid waste with consideration of the carbon footprint

Justyna Walczak, Beata Karolinczak, Monika Żubrowska-Sudoł

The study objective was to investigate the applicability of co-digestion and/or hydrodynamic disintegration as potential methods of methane production intensification from sewage sludge (SS) and the organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) with consideration of carbon footprint (CF) assessment. Methane production was determined by means of biochemical methane potential tests. For co-digestion, the highest increase in methane production (53.8%) was observed for the SS:OFMSW mixing ratio 40:60. Hydrodynamic disintegration at all tested energy densities (10, 30 and 60 kJ/L) caused release of soluble organic compounds from both substrates, although accelerated methane production was only observed at 10 kJ/L. An increase in methane potential for substrates disintegrated separately did not imply analogical results for the disintegration of their mixture. Within the assumed limits, CF per 1Nm3 of produced methane, CF per 1t of wet feedstock for the digester, and estimated CF per 1  kW h produced were also calculated. Comparable values of all indicators were obtained for monodigestion and co-digestion. The highest CF indices were achieved for monodigestion of disintegrated SS and increased significantly with applied energy density. The obtained results can serve as valuable material for operators of wastewater treatment plants facilitating the selection of sustainable methods of increasing renewable energy production.

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