Effect of manganese oxide-modified biochar addition on methane production and heavy metal speciation during the anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge

Jianhua Li , Min Zhang , Zhiyin Ye , Changming Yang


Received January 09, 2018,Revised , Accepted May 10, 2018, Available online May 19, 2018

Volume 31,2019,Pages 267-277

Low organic matter content and high heavy metal levels severely inhibit the anaerobic digestion (AD) of sewage sludge. In this study, the effect of added manganese oxide-modified biochar composite (MBC) on methane production and heavy metal fractionation during sewage sludge AD was examined. The MBC could increase the buffering capacity, enhance the methane production and degradation of intermediate acids, buffer the pH of the culture, and stabilize the sewage sludge AD process. The application of MBC positively impacted methane production and the cumulative methane yield increased up to 121.97%, as compared with the control. The MBC addition can improve metal stabilization in the digestate. An optimum MBC dose of 2.36 g was recommended, which would produce up to 121.1 L/kg volatile solids of methane. After the AD process, even though most of the metals accumulated in the residual solids, they could be transformation from the bio-available fractions to a more stable fraction. The total organic- and sulfide-bound and residual fraction content at a 3 g dose of MBC that is 0.12 g/g dry matter were 51.06% and 35.11% higher than the control, respectively. The results indicated that the application of MBC could improve the performance of AD and promote stabilization of heavy metals in sewage sludge post the AD process.

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