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Particle size fractionation and metal distribution in sewage sludges

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Abstract

A sequential step filtration technique has been used to investigate the different particle size fractions of suspended solids in several raw, activated and digested sewage sludge samples. Liquid sludge was passed through filters with progressively smaller pore sizes, from 100 µm down to 0.2 µm. The concentrations of Cd, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn associated with each particle size fraction were also determined. The particle size distributions indicated that there was a greater proportion of larger particles in the raw and activated sludges than in the digested sludges. Generally in activated sludge the metals tended to be associated with the large particles of > 100 µm, whereas in raw and particularly digested sludges the metals were found in the smaller particle size fractions from 20 µm, down to 2.5 µm. Calculating specific associations in terms of mg kg−1 the 8 to 20 µm range appears important in complexing metals. This was especially evident when comparing the sludges from the same treatment works. Generally distributions were more widespread when results were expressed as mg kg−1 as opposed to mg L−1.

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Yeoman, S., Sterritt, R.M., Rudd, T. et al. Particle size fractionation and metal distribution in sewage sludges. Water Air Soil Pollut 45, 27–42 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00208575

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Keywords

  • Sludge
  • Sewage Sludge
  • Activate Sludge
  • Suspended Solid
  • Small Particle Size