Moderate potassium ferrate dosage enhances methane production from the anaerobic digestion of waste activated sludge

Yongqi Sun, Mengyu Zhang, Ting Song, Suyun Xu*, Liwen Luo, Jonathan Wong, Xuefeng Zhu, Hongbo Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


The annual increase of waste activated sludge (WAS) has become an urgent problem to be solved in sewage plants worldwide. Anaerobic digestion (AD) of WAS is an attractive choice to maximize the resource utilization rate. Nevertheless, the disintegration of sludge complex polymers is difficult, resulting in a low bioconversion rate. Potassium ferrate (PF), as a green oxidant with strong oxidizing property, has attracted great attention in WAS pretreatment recently. The effects of PF pretreatment on WAS hydrolysis and its dosage-response on methane production were investigated in the present study. Results show that as PF dosage raise from 0 to 50 g-K2FeO4/ kg-TS (total solids), the methane yield enhanced significantly by 40.3% from 0.083 to 0.12 L/g-VSadded (volatile solids). Nevertheless, the further increase in PF dosage resulted in decreased methane production. Especially with the PF dosage of 500 g-K2FeO4/ kg-TS, methane production is even slightly lower than the control reactor without PF oxidation. The mechanism analysis showed that although the dissolution of polysaccharides and proteins was enhanced with the high dosage of PF, the accompanying released humic-like substances and high concentration of ferric ions should be the main reasons inhibiting methane production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Technology (United Kingdom)
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal

User-Defined Keywords

  • EEM spectra
  • KFeO dosage
  • methane production
  • phosphate
  • waste activated sludge


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