Experimental assessment and validation of quantification methods for cellulose content in municipal wastewater and sludge
- 121 Downloads
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.
KeywordsCellulose Toilet paper Wastewater Sludge Resource recovery Schweitzer reagent
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.
- Bolam F (1965) Stuff preparation for paper and paperboard making. Pergamon Press Inc, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- 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
- Edberg N, Hofsten B (1975) Cellulose degradation in wastewater treatment. J Water Pollut Control 47:1012–1020Google Scholar
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Pellizzer L (2016) Synthesis of cellulose-based flocculants and performance tests. Masters thesis. University of Coimbra. http://hdl.handle.net/10316/37492
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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