Impact of Irradiation Time on the Hydrolysis of Waste Activated Sludge by the Dielectric Heating of Microwave

  • Byun, Imgyu (Institute for Environmental Technology and Industry, Pusan National University) ;
  • Lee, Jaeho (Department of Environmental Engineering, Pusan National University) ;
  • Lim, Jisung (Department of Environmental Engineering, Pusan National University) ;
  • Lee, Jeongmin (Department of Environmental Engineering, Pusan National University) ;
  • Park, Taejoo (Department of Environmental Engineering, Pusan National University)
  • Received : 2013.10.29
  • Accepted : 2014.01.06
  • Published : 2014.03.30


The effects of initial solid concentration and microwave irradiation (MWI) time on the hydrolysis of waste activated sludge (WAS) were investigated. MWI time strongly influenced WAS hydrolysis for all initial solid concentrations of 8.20, 31.51, and 52.88 g VSS/L. For all WAS, the volatile suspended solids (VSS) solubilization degree ranged from 35.6% to 38.4% during a total MWI time of 10 min. Soluble chemical oxygen demand (SCOD) concentration increased at a rate proportional to the decrease of VSS during the MWI. However, the clearly different VSS solubilization patterns that were observed during the MWI were explained by the 2-step hydrolysis of WAS, consisting of the initial disintegration of the easily degradable part of the sludge, followed by the subsequent disintegration of the hardly degradable part of the sludge. WAS hydrolysis rates for 3 to 6 min of MWI were significantly lower than those for less than 3 min, or more than 6 min. From these results, 3 min MWI time and WAS of 31.51 g VSS/L (centrifugal thickener WAS) showed the most efficient hydrolysis of WAS at 36.0%. The profiles of total nitrogen (T-N) concentrations corresponded well to the SCOD increases in terms of the empirical formula of bacterial cell mass ($C_5H_7O_2N$). The negligible T-N increase and pH decrease during WAS hydrolysis by MWI will allow the application of this process to subsequent biological processes, such as anaerobic digestion.


Hydrolysis;Microwave irradiation time;SCOD;Solid concentration;Waste activated sludge


Supported by : Pusan National University


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