Magnetic micro-particle conditioning–pressurized vertical electro-osmotic dewatering (MPEOD) of activated sludge: Role and behavior of moisture and organics

Xinxin Guo , Xu Qian , Yili Wang , Huaili Zheng


Received December 28, 2017,Revised , Accepted February 22, 2018, Available online March 05, 2018

Volume 30,2018,Pages 147-158

In this study, a magnetic micro-particle conditioning–pressurized vertical electro-osmotic dewatering (MPEOD) process with magnetic micro-particle conditioning–drainage under gravity–mechanical compression–electrical compression (MMPC–DG–MC–EC) stages was established to study the distribution and migration of water, extracellular polymeric substances (EPS), and other organic matter in the activated sludge (AS) matrix at each stage. Results showed that the MPEOD process could attain 53.52% water content (WC) in dewatered AS with bound water (BW) and free water (FW) reduction rates of 82.97% and 99.67%, respectively. The coagulation and time-delayed magnetic field effects of magnetic micro-particles (MMPs) along the MMPC–DG–MC stages initiated the transformation of partial BW to FW in AS. EC had a coupling driving effect of electro-osmosis and pressure on BW, and the changes in pH and temperature at EC stage induced the aggregation of AS flocs and the release of partial BW. Additionally, MMPs dosing further improved the dewatering performance of AS by acting as skeleton builders to provide water passages. Meanwhile, MMPs could disintegrate sludge cells and EPS fractions, thereby reducing tryptophan-like protein and byproduct-like material concentrations in LB-EPS as well as protein/polysaccharide ratio in AS matrix, which could improve AS filterability. At EC stage, the former four Ex/Em regions of fluorescence regional integration analysis for EPS were obviously reduced, especially the protein-like substances in LB- and TB-EPS, which contributed to improvement of AS dewaterability.

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