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Screening pretreatment methods to enhance thermophilic anaerobic digestion of pulp and paper mill wastewater treatment secondary sludge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-486
Number of pages8
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2013
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


The effect of hydrothermal (150°C for 10min and 70°C for 40min), enzymatic (Accelerase 1500, 0.07g/g volatile solids (VS)), ultrasound (45kHz for 30min) and chemical pretreatments (HNO3 at pH3 and NaOH at pH12) alone or in combination on the chemical composition and methane yield of the pulp and paper mill secondary sludge was studied in batch assays at 55°C. In total, 12 different pretreatment combinations were compared. Chemical analyses showed that all pretreatments except for HNO3 and ultrasound pretreatments improved the organic matter solubilization. Among the studied pretreatments, hydrothermal (150°C, 10min) pretreatment alone or in combination with enzymatic and/or ultrasound pretreatment had the highest impact on sludge solubilization and methane yield. The increase in methane yield was 31% (from 108ml/g VSoriginal to 141ml/gVSoriginal). In addition, enzymatic pretreatment also improved the methane yields but only when combined with hydrothermal pretreatment at 150°C or ultrasound+hydrothermal pretreatment at 150°C. On the other hand, ultrasound pretreatment did not improve the methane yields while acid and alkaline pretreatments resulted in lower methane yields than control. Improved hydrolysis and higher methane production rates noticed in assays subjected to hydrothermal pretreatment alone or in combination with enzymes and/or ultrasound could make these treatments more attractive in reducing the retention times required during full-scale anaerobic digestion of pulp and paper mill wastewater sludges. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


  • Anaerobic digestion, Methane yield, Pretreatment, Pulp and paper mill, Secondary sludge

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland