Title page for ETD etd-8298-18351

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Rust, Mary Elizabeth
Author's Email Address mrust@vt.edu
URN etd-8298-18351
Title Biopolymer and Cation Release in Aerobic and Anaerobic Digestion and the Consequent Impact on Sludge Dewatering and Conditioning Properties
Degree Master of Science
Department Environmental Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Novak, John T. Committee Chair
Love, Nancy G. Committee Member
Randall, Clifford W. Committee Member
  • aerobic digestion
  • protein
  • polysaccharide
  • dewatering
  • conditioning
  • cations
  • anaerobic digestion
Date of Defense 1998-08-27
Availability unrestricted
Sludge dewatering and chemical conditioning requirements

were examined from the perspective of biopolymer and

cation release from activated sludge flocs. Both aerobic

and anaerobic digestion processes were considered from

two different activated sludge sources at a temperature

of 20° C. Polymer demand and specific resistance to

filtration increased with an increase in total soluble

biopolymer concentration for all temperature ranges.

In anaerobic digestion, the protein release was three

times greater than the polysaccharide release. Conversely,

aerobic digestion of the same sludge resulted in a greater

release of polysaccharides than proteins. Polymer

conditioning requirements in the anaerobic digestors were

an order of magnitude higher than in the aerobic digestors;

proteins were considered to be the biopolymer fraction

responsible for the high polymer conditioning requirements

and poor dewatering properties. Biopolymer is released

to the supernatant as colloids bound by divalent cations.

Peptidase and glucosidase activity were used to monitor

enzymatic activity relative to biopolymer release and

degradation. The reasons for the increases and decreases

in hydrolase activity are unknown.

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