Optimizing the Performance of Anaerobic Sludge Digestion Process at NEWPCP of Philadelphia Water Department (PI: M. Duran)

Results of factorial analysis showing the specific methane production as a function of mixing, mean cell residence time, and their interactions when feed solids content is 3.5%
Results of factorial analysis showing the specific methane production as a function of mixing, mean cell residence time, and their interactions when feed solids content is 3.5%

Sponsored by: Philadelphia Water Department

Duration: 2008-2009

Budget: $186,615

The members of the EMB conducted bench- and pilot-scale studies aimed at optimizing the performance of the anaerobic sludge digestion process at the Northeast and Southwest Water Pollution Control Plants (NEWPCP and SWWPCP) of the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD). The efforts focused on ways to improve volatile solids destruction, to increase digestergas (methane) production, to evaluate the feasibility of co-digestion of different substrates, and to optimize the solids feed with and without mechanical mixing. A unique approach, two-level factorial analysis, was used to design experiments investigating the effects of three key operational parameters, mixing, mean cell residence time, and feed solids content, on specific methane generation. The EMB members collaborated with a team of Brown and Caldwell (BC) engineers on this work.