Impact of gas injection on the apparent viscosity and viscoelastic property of waste activated sewage sludge.

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Water research, ISSN: 1879-2448, Vol: 114, Page: 296-307

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Bobade, Veena; Baudez, Jean Christophe; Evans, Geoffery; Eshtiaghi, Nicky
Elsevier BV
Environmental Science
article description
Gas injection is known to play a major role on the particle size of the sludge, the oxygen transfer rate, as well as the mixing efficiency of membrane bioreactors and aeration basins in the waste water treatment plants. The rheological characteristics of sludge are closely related to the particle size of the sludge floc. However, particle size of sludge floc depends partly on the shear induced in the sludge and partly on physico-chemical nature of the sludge. The objective of this work is to determine the impact of gas injection on both the apparent viscosity and viscoelastic property of sludge. The apparent viscosity of sludge was investigated by two methods: in-situ and after sparging. Viscosity curves obtained by in-situ measurement showed that the apparent viscosity decreases significantly from 4000 Pa s to 10 Pa s at low shear rate range (below 10 s) with an increase in gas flow rate (0.5LPM to 3LPM); however the after sparging flow curve analysis showed that the reduction in apparent viscosity throughout the shear rate range is negligible to be displayed. Torque and displacement data at low shear rate range revealed that the obtained lower apparent viscosity in the in-situ method is not the material characteristics, but the slippage effect due to a preferred location of the bubbles close to the bob, causing an inconsistent decrease of torque and increase of displacement at low shear rate range. In linear viscoelastic regime, the elastic and viscous modulus of sludge was reduced by 33% & 25%, respectively, due to gas injection because of induced shear. The amount of induced shear measured through two different tests (creep and time sweep) were the same. The impact of this induced shear on sludge structure was also verified by microscopic images.