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Industrial sludge containing pharmaceuticalresidues and explosives alters inherent toxicproperties when co-digested with oat andpost-treated in reed beds
Örebro University, School of Science and Technology, Örebro University, Sweden. Karlskoga Environment and Energy Company, Karlskoga. (MTM)
Department of Ecosystem Analysis, Institute for Environmental, Research, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.
Scandinavian Biogas Fuels AB, Stockholm.
School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology, Mälardalen University, Västerås.
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2014 (English)In: Environmental Sciences Europe, ISSN 2190-4715, E-ISSN 2190-4715, Vol. 26, no 8, 1-11 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Methane production as biofuels is a fast and strong growing technique for renewable energy. Substrateslike waste (e.g. food, sludge from waste water treatment plants (WWTP), industrial wastes) can be used as a suitable resource for methane gas production, but in some cases, with elevated toxicity in the digestion residue. Former investigations have shown that co-digesting of contaminated waste such as sludge together with other substrates canproduce a less toxic residue. In addition, wetlands and reed beds demonstrated good results in dewatering and detoxifying of sludge. The aim of the present study was to investigate if the toxicity may alter in industrial sludgeco-digested with oat and post-treatment in reed beds. In this study, digestion of sludge from Bjorkborn industrial area in Karlskoga (reactor D6) and co-digestion of the same sludge mixed with oat (reactor D5) and post-treatment in reed beds were investigated in parallel. Methane production as well as changes in cytotoxicity (Microtox(R); ISO 11348–3), genotoxicity (Umu-C assay; ISO/13829) and AhR-mediated toxicity (7-ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) assay using RTW cells) were measured.

Results: The result showed good methane production of industrial sludge (D6) although the digested residue was more toxic than the ingoing material measured using microtox30min and Umu-C. Co-digestion of toxic industrial sludge and oat(D5) showed higher methane production and significantly less toxic sludge residue than reactor D6. Furthermore, dewatering and treatment in reed beds showed low and non-detectable toxicity in reed bed material and outgoingwater as well as reduced nutrients.

Conclusions: Co-digestion of sludge and oat followed by dewatering and treatment of sludge residue in reed beds canbe a sustainable waste management and energy production. We recommend that future studies should involve co-digestion of decontaminated waste mixed with different non-toxic material to find a substrate mixture that producethe highest biogas yield and lowest toxicity within the sludge residue.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Heidelberg, Germany: Springer, 2014. Vol. 26, no 8, 1-11 p.
Keyword [en]
Biogas, Co-digestion, EROD, Industrial sludge, Microtox, Oat, Reed beds, Sustainable waste management, Toxicity, Umu-C
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Enviromental Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-40700DOI: 10.1186/2190-4715-26-8OAI: diva2:778508
Available from: 2015-01-10 Created: 2015-01-10 Last updated: 2015-10-19Bibliographically approved

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Keiter, Steffen
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