Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 24, Issue 10, pp 9016–9025 | Cite as

Does residual H2O2 result in inhibitory effect on enhanced anaerobic digestion of sludge pretreated by microwave-H2O2 pretreatment process?

  • Jibao Liu
  • Ruilai Jia
  • Yawei Wang
  • Yuansong Wei
  • Junya Zhang
  • Rui Wang
  • Xing Cai
Eco-aquaculture, sustainable development and public health


This study investigated the effects of residual H2O2 on hydrolysis-acidification and methanogenesis stages of anaerobic digestion after microwave-H2O2 (MW-H2O2) pretreatment of waste activated sludge (WAS). Results showed that high sludge solubilization at 35–45 % was achieved after pretreatment, while large amounts of residual H2O2 remained and refractory compounds were thus generated with high dosage of H2O2 (0.6 g H2O2/g total solids (TS), 1.0 g H2O2/g TS) pretreatment. The residual H2O2 not only inhibited hydrolysis-acidification stage mildly, such as hydrolase activity, but also had acute toxic effect on methanogens, resulting in long lag phase, low methane yield rate, and no increase of cumulative methane production during the 30-day BMP tests. When the low dosage of H2O2 at 0.2 g H2O2/g TS was used in MW-H2O2 pretreatment, sludge anaerobic digestion was significantly enhanced. The cumulative methane production increased by 29.02 %, but still with a lag phase of 1.0 day. With removing the residual H2O2 by catalase, the initial lag phase of hydrolysis-acidification stage decreased from 1.0 to 0.5 day.


Microwave Hydrogen peroxide Sludge Anaerobic digestion Inhibition Enzyme activity 



This work is supported by the National Water Pollution Control and Management Technology Major Project of China (2012ZX07202-005 and 2015ZX07203-005).

Supplementary material

11356_2015_5704_MOESM1_ESM.docx (368 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 367 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jibao Liu
    • 1
  • Ruilai Jia
    • 1
  • Yawei Wang
    • 1
  • Yuansong Wei
    • 1
  • Junya Zhang
    • 1
  • Rui Wang
    • 1
  • Xing Cai
    • 2
  1. 1.State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control, Research Center for Eco-Environmental SciencesChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Shenyang Academy of Environmental ScienceShenyangChina

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