Recovery of biomass cellulose from waste sewage sludge
In our previous work, the primary sludge from wastewater treatment plants was shown to contain a considerable amount of cellulose (about 20%, based on suspended solids) owing to the discharge of toilet paper. For the purpose of using the cellulose as a biomass resource, this study examined a simple method for its recovery. When fibrous cellulose was suspended in 0.3% sulfuric acid and autoclaved at 130°C for 60 min, 85%–88% of the initial solids remained without dissolving. Under these conditions, an activated sludge sample not containing cellulose was strongly hydrolyzed and only 7% of the initial solids remained. The prescribed amounts of cellulose added to the activated sludge sample were quantitatively recovered by the autoclaving treatment. In the treatment of primary sludge containing >20% cellulose, residual solids with relatively high levels of cellulose (>69%) could be obtained. The results indicate that the method proposed here could recover cellulose practically from waste sewage sludge for biomass utilization.
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