Enhanced Biogas Production and Dewaterability from Sewage Sludge with Alkaline Pretreatment at Mesophilic and Thermophilic Temperatures

  • Tianfeng Wang
  • Bingqing Xu
  • Xinyun Zhang
  • Qiyong Yang
  • Bingjie Xu
  • Pinghua Yang


This study investigated the biogas production and dewaterability of sewage sludge with alkaline pretreatment at mesophilic and thermophilic temperatures. The total suspended solids (TSS) and volatile suspended solids (VSS) of raw sludges were 21.1 ± 2.3 and 16.2 ± 1.5 g L−1, respectively. Raw sludges were pretreated at uncontrolled, pH 8, pH 10, and pH 12 under mesophilic (Mu, M8, M10, and M12) and thermophilic (Tu, T8, T10, and T12) conditions, respectively. All the pretreatments last 6 days. The pH of pretreated sludges was adjusted to the pH 7.0 prior to inoculating with mesophilic anaerobic digested sludge and undergoing 60 days of anaerobic digestion. The ultimate biogas yield of Mu, M8, M10, M12, Tu, T8, T10, and T12 was 296.8, 384.8, 339.9, 323.1, 376.6, 322.4, 271.5, and 258.1 mL g−1-VSadded, respectively. Both the pH of alkali treatment and temperature of thermal treatment affect the performance of anaerobic digestion. High hydrolysis pH (pH 10 and pH 12) resulted in high Na+ concentration (over 4000 mg L−1), and Na+ inhibitory effect reduced the ultimate biogas yield. The normalized capillary suction time (NCST) found in the treatments of M8 and Tu were 11.8 ± 1.1 to 23.4 ± 1.7 and 27.9 ± 5.4 to 111.8 ± 1.7 s g−1-TSS, respectively. The results suggest that both the pH of alkali treatment and temperatures of mild thermal treatment affect the performance of anaerobic digestion and sludge pretreated at pH 8.0 under mesophilic conditions could achieve high biogas yield and adequate dewaterability of digested sludge.


Hydrolysis Biogas yield Extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) Dewaterability Pretreatment 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51741805, 21767013 and 21567011), State Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Resource Reuse Foundation (PCRRF16025), and Science and Technology Foundation of Education Department of Jiangxi Province (GJJ161085).

Supplementary material

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Fig. A1 Variation of protein of slime over digestion time (JPEG 3737 kb)
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Fig. A2 Variation of polysaccharide of slime over digestion time (JPEG 3658 kb)
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Fig. A3 Variation of protein of LB-EPS over digestion time (JPEG 3516 kb)
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Fig. A4 Variation of polysaccharide of LB-EPS over digestion time (JPEG 3480 kb)
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Fig. A5 Variation of protein of TB-EPS over digestion time (JPEG 3570 kb)
11270_2018_3726_MOESM6_ESM.jpg (3.5 mb)
Fig. A6 Variation of polysaccharide of TB-EPS over digestion time (JPEG 3551 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tianfeng Wang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Bingqing Xu
    • 1
  • Xinyun Zhang
    • 4
  • Qiyong Yang
    • 1
  • Bingjie Xu
    • 1
  • Pinghua Yang
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Chemistry and Environmental EngineeringJiujiang UniversityJiujiangPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Jiangxi Province Engineering Research Center of Ecological Chemical IndustryJiujiangPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Jiujiang Key Laboratory of Basin Management and Ecological ProtectionJiujiangPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Art InstituteJiujiang UniversityJiujiangPeople’s Republic of China

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