The properties of concentrated sludge arising from increased pressure on the capacity of wastewater treatment plants are being investigated in this project.
Growing urban populations means that wastewater treatment plants are under pressure to treat increasing volumes of wastewater within existing plants. This means that the sludge that circulates in the anaerobic digesters is more concentrated. The rheological characteristics of concentrated sludge are harder to predict, and this reduces the efficiency of the system. The rheological behaviour of sludge plays a key role in anaerobic digestion process performance. Better understanding of the evolution of shear rheological and solid-liquid separation properties of anaerobic digested sludge is critical for optimizing the digestion process to maximise biogas production and improve digestate dewaterability.
The Rheology group at RMIT develops rheological models and solid-liquid separation (dewaterability) parameters as continuous functions of solids concentration, extent of digestion and digestion temperature suitable for modelling low to high solid anaerobic digestion processes. Further details can be obtained from Professor Nicky Eshtiaghi.