WEF Discussions — Now on LinkedIn!

WEF is pleased to announce the creation of free LinkedIn groups associated with its technical discussion forum topics. Through these LinkedIn groups, members will be able to view and participate in discussions, as well as communicate with one another via direct messages. Share your experiences and knowledge, ask questions and respond to other discussions as frequently as you like!

You must have a LinkedIn profile to join a LinkedIn group; you can create your profile here. If you already have a LinkedIn profile, all you need to do is submit a request to join one or all of the following groups:

Water Environment Federation (Main) | Biosolids | Collection Systems | Nutrients | Stormwater 
Utility Management | Water Reuse | Water for Jobs | Watershed Management | Laboratory Practices 

RSS Feed Print
aerobic digester-very high solids-odor problem
Posted: Wednesday, February 10, 2010 11:01 AM
Joined: 2/10/2010
Posts: 1

The title sums it up.  My  9mgd activated sludge plant has three aerobic digesters. They have been receiving 90k gal. of thickened WAS for the past 15 months. Now it is extremely thick, and emmitting a very offensive odor.  I'd welcome any comment that might point me toward the right approach to alleviate this mess. Thanks

James Royer
Posted: Thursday, February 11, 2010 8:10 AM
Joined: 9/21/2009
Posts: 98

When we had aerobic digesters we could not transfer enough oxygen to meet the demand once the %TS reached 3.5 to 4.0 %. The larger plants would use oxygen instead of air to meet their demand. Check organic acids to determine if they are the source of the odor. Organic sulfur compounds can be another source once the sludge is septic.

I would dewater and lime stabilize or landfill enough sludge so as not to overload your digesters. Once to digesters are acclimated and well digested then you can add more raw sludge just so that you keep some DO.

Posted: Thursday, February 11, 2010 10:47 AM

You can find studies on dairy waste that show O2 transfer drops way off as you go from 2% to 3% solids. Even if you are using fine bubble difusers, the air has to come together to form a big enough bubble to push through the sludge. Big bubble = bad transfer.



David Quinby
Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 1:42 PM
Joined: 1/29/2010
Posts: 1

Hi Jim!  With the thick sludge in the aerobic digester, you are getting affected by the Alpha Factor.  If you do a search for "Understanding the Alpha Factor" you will find an article that might explain it to you.

     The thicker the sludge, the harder it is to transfer enough air into it to stabilize it.  If you thin out your sludge (down to 2.5%ts or lower) and watch the D.O., you will start to notice that the D.O. will transfer, and the sludge will begin to digest.  To run the thicker solids in the digester, you could add more horsepower in blowers, but that's big bucks.

     A quick way to determine if you are starting to aerate the biosolids would be to measure the off gas from the digester.  If you get hydrogen sulfide readings, and not ammonia, then you are not adding enough air.  If the hydrogen sulfide drops, and the ammonia picks up, you are headed into the right direction.



Tom Hons
Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 5:13 PM
Joined: 5/16/2010
Posts: 6

What is the TSS, VSS, pH, DO, SOUR and temp of the digesters? Also, how would you describe the smells?  If there is lots of H2S smell, can control that by raising the pH to 7 1/2 to 8. What kind of aeration system is installed?  I've used some evergreen and noscent essential oils from odor control co. in a 200,000 gal digestor with some success. Good luck.