Sludge Particle Size and Correlation with Soluble Organic Matter and Conditioning Characteristics After Freezing Treatments

  • M. Carrasco
  • W. GaoEmail author


The effect of two freezing treatment methods, combined ultrasonic freezing and conventional freezing, on secondary municipal wastewater sludge particle size, and the relationship between particle size and soluble organic matter, and dewatering characteristics (filterability and settleability) were examined. Quantitative analysis was carried out to determine the change in sludge particle sizes and the correlation coefficients between particle size and sludge volume index (SVI), capillary suction time (CST), and soluble chemical oxygen demand (sCOD) following freezing treatments. Freezing treatments significantly increased sludge median particle size (d50) to 4 to 5 times of the control, and d10 and d90 increased by 3 to 4 times. The correlation coefficients indicated that both freezing treatment methods were able to simultaneously enhance dewaterability and soluble organic matter (sCOD). Comparisons of the test results of the two freezing methods, as well as freezing methods with other treatment methods examined (ultrasound, thermal, and microwave) were conducted. The relationship between particle size and dewaterability remained constant across all treatment methods with increase in particle size correlated to improved dewaterability while the correlation of particle size and soluble organic matter seemed to depend on the treatment methods.


Freezing treatment Particle size Solubilization of organic matter Sludge conditioning 



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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringLakehead UniversityThunder BayCanada

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