Dewatering of saline sewage sludge using iron-oxidizing bacteria: Effect of substrate concentration

Jonathan W C WONG, Kumarasamy Murugesan*, Ammaiyappan Selvam, Balasubramanian Ravindran, Mayur B. Kurade, Shuk Man Yu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated the improvement in dewaterability of activated sludge (ACS) and anaerobically digested sludge (ADS) through bioacidification approach using iron-oxidizing bacterium, Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans. ACS and ADS were treated with A. ferrooxidans culture with addition of different concentrations of energy substrate, in terms of Fe2+:sludge solids ratio (0:1, 0.01:1, 0.05:1 and 0.1:1), and the dewaterability was assessed by determining the capillary suction time (CST), time to filter (TTF) and specific resistance to filtration (SRF) of the sludge. The results revealed that the levels of Fe2+ significantly influenced the sludge acidification (pH ⩽ 3). The CST, TTF and SRF values rapidly decreased in treated sludge, indicating that dewaterability of the sludge was significantly (p < 0.05) improved than untreated sludge. This investigation clearly demonstrates that A. ferrooxidans culture, as biogenic flocculant, can be potentially used for improving the sludge flocculation, stabilization and dewaterability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-38
Number of pages8
JournalBioresource Technology
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal

User-Defined Keywords

  • Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans
  • Activated sludge
  • Anaerobically digested sludge
  • Biogenic flocculant
  • Sludge dewaterability


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