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Removal of DEHP in composting and aeration of sewage sludge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-272
Number of pages8
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


The potential of composting and aeration to remove bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) from municipal sewage sludge was studied with two dewatered sludges: raw sludge and anaerobically digested sludge. Composting removed 58% of the DEHP content of the raw sludge and 34% of that of the anaerobically digested sludge during 85 days stabilisation in compost bins. A similar removal for the anaerobically digested sludge was achieved in a rotary drum in 28 days. Less than 1% of DEHP was removed with the compost leachate. Although DEHP removal was greater from raw sludge compost than anaerobically digested sludge compost, the total and volatile solids removals were on the same level in the two composts. In the aeration of raw sludge at 20 °C the DEHP removals were 33-41% and 50-62% in 7 and 28 days, respectively. Both composting and aeration are concluded to have the potential to reduce the DEHP contents typically found in sewage sludges to levels acceptable for agricultural use.


  • Aeration, Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, Composting, Sewage sludge, Stabilisation