Improved dewatering of CEPT sludge by biogenic flocculant from Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Bioleaching using an iron-oxidizing bacterium, Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, and its biogenic flocculants was evaluated to improve the dewaterability of chemically enhanced primary treatment (CEPT) sewage sludge. CEPT sludge in flasks was inoculated with A. ferrooxidans culture, mediumfree cells and the cell-free culture filtrate with and without the energy substance Fe2+, and periodically the sludge samples were analysed for the dewaterability. This investigation proves that bioleaching effectively improved the sludge dewaterability as evidenced from drastic reduction in capillary suction time (≤20 seconds) and specific resistance to filtration (≥90%); however, it requires an adaptability period of 1-2 days. On the other hand, the biogenic flocculant produced by A. ferrooxidans greatly decreased the time-to-filtration and facilitated the dewaterability within 4 h. Results indicate that rapid dewatering of CEPT sludge by biogenic flocculants provides an opportunity to replace the synthetic organic polymer for dewatering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)843-848
Number of pages6
JournalWater Science and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans
  • Bioleaching
  • CEPT sludge
  • Dewaterability


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