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Jingsi Zhang, Simon J Haward, Zhigen Wu, Xiaohu Dai, Wenquan Tao, Zhuo Li
Evolution of Rheological Characteristics of High-solid Municipal Sludge during Anaerobic Digestion

Appl. Rheol. 26:3 (2016) 32973 (10 pages)

Rheological characterization of high-solid sludge is a fundamental requirement for optimizing the mixing and transport of high-solid sludge during anaerobic digestion in waste water treatment systems. We investigate the time evolution of physicochemical properties and rheological characteristics of high-solid digested sludge with total solids (TS) 15−20 wt.% during anaerobic digestion. A series of experiments are carried out over a period of 26 days during the operation of an anaerobic sequencing batch reactor. In equilibrium flow curves, high-solid digested sludge exhibits shear thinning behavior with a yield stress. Strong viscoelastic behavior is exhibited in the linear and non-linear regimes in dynamic and creep tests. A critical shear stress is found in the equilibrium flow curve, which accounts for the viscoelastic property. To accurately model the flow curves, a piecewise Herschel-Bulkley function separated by the corresponding critical shear rate is proposed. The digestion time plays an important role in determining the rheological behavior. Longer digestion times lead to a decreased yield stress in creep tests, and a decreased viscosity and a reduced critical shear stress in the steady flow curve. In addition, the storage modulus G' and the loss modulus G'' are reduced as digestion proceeds, leading to a shorter linear viscoelastic regime. Moreover, we find that the storage modulus G' varies linearly with the concentration of total organic matter in the sludge, suggesting that G' could be used as a new control parameter for monitoring of the anaerobic digestion process.

Cite this publication as follows:
Zhang J, Haward SJ, Wu Z, Dai X, Tao W, Li Z: Evolution of Rheological Characteristics of High-solid Municipal Sludge during Anaerobic Digestion, Appl. Rheol. 26 (2016) 32973.

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