Effect of different bulking agents on water variation and thermal balance and their respective contribution to bio-generated heat during long-term storage sludge biodrying process
Biodrying was first used for the post-treatment of long-term storage sludge with vinasse as bulking agents. The effect of different bulking agents on water and heat variation and their respective contributions to bio-generated heat during storage sludge biodrying were investigated. Three different bulking agents (beer lees and distillers grains, with conventional straw used for comparison) were mixed with storage sludge for biodrying for an 18-day period. The results revealed the treatment with beer lees as bulking agent achieved the best performance with the highest water removal capacity (658 g kg−1 initial water). The extent of organic degradation in the mixture was related to the degradation ability of the bulking agents. The degradation of C- and H-containing materials (e.g., carboxylic acid) accounted for volatile solids (VS) loss. Water and thermal analyses showed that evaporation was the main way of water loss (accounting for 90%), while evaporation heat was the main component of heat consumption (accounting for 56.67–60.62%).The biodegradation of bulking agents contributed a high proportion of the bio-generated heat consumed by water evaporation (82.35–86.67%).
KeywordsLong-term storage sludge Biodrying Bulking agents Water balance Thermal analysis Bio-generated heat
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