Experimental assessment and validation of quantification methods for cellulose content in municipal wastewater and sludge

  • Medhavi Gupta
  • Dang Ho
  • Domenico Santoro
  • Elena Torfs
  • Julie Doucet
  • Peter A. Vanrolleghem
  • George Nakhla
Research Article
  • 32 Downloads

Abstract

Cellulose, mostly in the form of toilet paper, forms a major component of the particulates in raw municipal wastewater, which could lead to significant consequences due to the potential accumulation of cellulosic fibers and slow biodegradability. Despite the sparse reports on cellulose content and degradation in wastewater and sludge, an accurate and validated method for its quantification in such matrices does not exist. In this paper, four different methods were compared including dilute acid hydrolysis, concentrated acid hydrolysis, enzymatic hydrolysis, and the Schweitzer reagent method. The Schweitzer reagent method, applied to municipal wastewater and sludge, was found to be a very robust and reliable quantification method in light of its reproducibility, accuracy, and ideal (100%) recovery. The determination of cellulose content is critical to understand its fate in wastewater treatment plants as well as improve sludge management and enhance resource recovery.

Keywords

Cellulose Toilet paper Wastewater Sludge Resource recovery Schweitzer reagent 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was funded by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada—Collaborative Research and Development (CRD) (grant number CRDPJ-488704-15). Dr. Peter A. Vanrolleghem holds the Canada Research Chair on Water Quality Modeling.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Alkasrawi M, Al-Hamamre Z, Al-Shannag M, Abedin MJ, Singsaas E (2016) Conversion of paper mill residuals to fermentable sugars. Bioresources 11(1):2287–2296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bauer S, Ibanez AB (2014) Rapid determination of cellulose. Biotechnol Bioeng 111(11):2355–2357.  https://doi.org/10.1002/bit.25276 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bolam F (1965) Stuff preparation for paper and paperboard making. Pergamon Press Inc, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. Camacho F, Gonzalez-Tello P, Jurado E, Robles A (1996) Microcrystalline-cellulose hydrolysis with concentrated sulfuric acid. J Chem Technol Biotechnol 67(4):350–356.  https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1097-4660(199612)67:4<350::AID-JCTB564>3.0.CO;2-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Champagne P, Li C (2009) Enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulosic municipal wastewater treatment process residuals as feedstocks for the recovery of simple sugars. Bioresour Technol 100(23):5700–5706.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biortech.2009.06.051 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chimentao RJ, Lorente E, Gispert-Guirado F, Medina F, Lopez M (2014) Hydrolysis of dilute acid-pretreated cellulose under mild hydrothermal conditions. Carbohydr Polym 111(13):116–124.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.carbpol.2014.04.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Edberg N, Hofsten B (1975) Cellulose degradation in wastewater treatment. J Water Pollut Control 47:1012–1020Google Scholar
  8. Faust L, Krooneman J, Euverink GJW (2014) A new reliable method to measure cellulose in wastewater and sludge. Products and processes for biotechnology in the Biobased economy, University of Groningen. Poster presented at cellulose symposiumGoogle Scholar
  9. Fuller MS, Barshad I (1960) Chitin and cellulose in the cell walls of Rhizidiomyces sp. Am J Bot 47(2):105–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gao X, Kumar R, Wyman CE (2014) Fast hemicellulose quantification via a simple one-step acid hydrolysis. Biotechnol Bioeng 111(6):1088–1096.  https://doi.org/10.1002/bit.25174 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gavila L, Constanti M, Medina F (2015) D-Lactic acid production from cellulose: dilute acid treatment of cellulose assisted by microwave followed by microbial fermentation. Cellulose 22(5):3089–3098.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10570-015-0720-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gupta UC, Sowden FJ (1964) Isolation and characterization of cellulose from soil organic matter. Soil Sci 97:328–333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Harris D, Bulone V, Ding S-Y, DeBolt S (2010) Tools for cellulose analysis in plant cell walls. Plant Physiol 153:420–426.  https://doi.org/10.1104/pp.110.154203 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Honda S, Miyata N, Iwahori K (2002) Recovery of biomass cellulose from waste sewage sludge. J Mater Cycles Waste 4(1):46–50.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10163-001-0054-y Google Scholar
  15. Hurwitz E, Beck AJ, Sakellariou E, Krup M (1961) Degradation of cellulose by activated sludge treatment. J Water Pollut Control Fed 33(10):1070–1075Google Scholar
  16. Kauffman GB (1984) Eduard Schweizer (1818-1860): the unknown chemist and his well-known reagent. Profiles Chem 61(12):1095–1097.  https://doi.org/10.1021/ed061p1095 Google Scholar
  17. Kim JS, Lee YY, Torget RW (2001) Cellulose hydrolysis under extremely low sulfuric acid and high-temperature conditions. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 91(1–9):331–340.  https://doi.org/10.1385/ABAB:91-93:1-9:331 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Mansfield SD, Mooney C, Saddler JN (1999) Substrate and enzyme characteristics that limit cellulose hydrolysis. Biotechnol Prog 15(5):804–816.  https://doi.org/10.1021/bp9900864 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Olsson C, Westman G (2013) Direct dissolution of cellulose: background, means and applications. Cellul Fundam Asp Intech 143–178.  https://doi.org/10.5772/52144
  20. Orozco A, Ahmad M, Rooney D, Walker G (2007) Dilute acid hydrolysis of cellulose and cellulosic bio-waste using a microwave reactor system. Process Saf Environ Prot 85(5):446–449.  https://doi.org/10.1205/psep07003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Pellizzer L (2016) Synthesis of cellulose-based flocculants and performance tests. Masters thesis. University of Coimbra. http://hdl.handle.net/10316/37492
  22. Raunkjær K, Hvitved-Jacobsen T, Nielsen PH (1994) Measurement of pools of protein, carbohydrates and lipid in domestic wastewater. Water Res 28(2):251–262.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0043-1354(94)90261-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Rinaldi R, Schüth F (2009) Acid hydrolysis of cellulose as the entry point into biorefinery schemes. ChemSusChem 2(12):1096–1107.  https://doi.org/10.1002/cssc.200900188 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ruiken CJ, Breuer G, Klaversma E, Santiago T, van Loosdrecht MCM (2013) Sieving wastewater—cellulose recovery, economic and energy evaluation. Water Res 47(1):43–48.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2012.08.023 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sarathy S, Ho D, Murray A, Batstone D, Santoro D (2015) Engineered fractionation of primary solids—a comparison of primary treatments using rotating belt filters and primary clarifiers. Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation, WEFTEC, Chicago, USA. doi:  https://doi.org/10.2175/193864715819555931
  26. Seymour RB, Johnson EL (1976) The effect of solution variables on the solution of cellulose in dimethyl sulfoxide. J Appl Polym Sci 20(12):3425–3429.  https://doi.org/10.1002/app.1976.070201220 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Schell DJ, Farmer J, Newman M, McMillen JD (2003) Dilute-sulfuric acid pretreatment of corn stover in pilot-scale reactor: investigation of yields, kinetics, and enzymatic digestibility of solids. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 105(1–3):69–85.  https://doi.org/10.1385/ABAB:105:1-3:69 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sluiter A, Hames B, Ruiz C, Scarlata C, Sluiter J, Templeton D, Crocker D (2012) Determination of structural carbohydrates and lignin in biomass. National Renewal Energy Laboratory (NREL), US Department of Energy. Technical Report: NREL/TP-510-42618Google Scholar
  29. Thoorens G, Krier F, Leclercq B, Carlin B, Evrard B (2014) Microcrystalline cellulose, a direct compression binder in a quality by design environment—a review. Int J Pharm 473(1–2):64–72.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpharm.2014.06.055 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Updegraff DM (1969) Semimicro determination of cellulose in biological materials. Anal Biochem 32(3):420–424.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0003-2697(69)80009-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Verachtert H, Ramasamy K, Meyers M, Bevers J (1982) Investigations on cellulose biodegradation in activated sludge plants. J Appl Bacteriol 52(2):185–190.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2672.1982.tb04839.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Wyman CE, Decker SR, Brady JW, Viikari L, Himmel ME (2005) Hydrolysis of cellulose and hemicellulose. In: Polysaccharides, structural diversity and functional versatility, pp. 1023–1062Google Scholar
  33. Xiang Q, Lee Y, Pettersson P, Torget R (2003) Heterogeneous aspects of acid hydrolysis of α-cellulose. Appl Biochem Biotechnol 107:505–514CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Yang B, Dai Z, Ding S-Y, Wyman CE (2011) Enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulosic biomass. Biofuels 2(4):421–450.  https://doi.org/10.4155/BFS.11.116 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Yoon SY, Han SH, Shin SJ (2014) The effect of hemicelluloses and lignin on acid hydrolysis. Energy 77(1):19–24.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.energy.2014.01.104 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical and Biochemical EngineeringWestern UniversityLondonCanada
  2. 2.Trojan TechnologiesLondonCanada
  3. 3.modelEAU, Département de génie civil et de génie des eauxUniversité LavalQuébecCanada

Personalised recommendations