Primary or secondary sewage sludge in medium and large WWTP are most often processed by anaerobic digestion, as a method of conditioning, sludge quantity minimization and biogas production. With the aim to achieve the best results of sludge processing several modifications of technologies were suggested, investigated and introduced in the full technical scale. Various sludge pretreatment technologies before anaerobic treatment have been widely investigated and partially introduced. Obviously, there are always some limitations and some negative side effects. Selected aspects have been presented and discussed. The problem of nitrogen has been highlighted on the basis of the carried out investigations. The single and two step - mesophilic and thermophilic - anaerobic waste activated sludge digestion processes, preceded by preliminary hydrolysis were investigated. The aim of lab-scale experiments was pre-treatment of the sludge by means of low intensive alkaline and hydrodynamic disintegration. Depending on the pretreatment technologies and the digestion temperature large ammonia concentrations, up to 1800 mg NH4/dm3 have been measured. Return of the sludge liquor to the main sewage treatment line means additional nitrogen removal costs. Possible solutions are discussed.
The aim of the study was to develop an effective treatment of post-digestion liquors highly-loaded with biogenic and organic substances. The scope of the research project encompassed: mesophilic anaerobic digestion of waste activated sludge (WAS) as well as the treatment of post-digestion liquors, coming from the most appropriate HRT value of 25 days, in the process of ammonium magnesium phosphate (struvite) precipitation targeted at ammonia nitrogen binding and a subsequent reverse osmosis (RO) process. It was established that the method combining chemical precipitation and high-pressure ﬁltration ensures a high degree of contaminants removal allowing for a direct release of treated liquors into the natural reservoir. However, in order to decrease the residual NH4+ concentration (6.1 mg NH4+/dm3) in the puriﬁed post-digestion liquors below the level allowing for a direct release to the natural reservoir, it turned out to be necessary to apply increased molar ratio of magnesium and phosphates (Mg:NH4+: PO43-= 1.5:1:1.5).