Integral analysis of hydrodynamic cavitation effects on waste activated sludge characteristics, potentially toxic metals, microorganisms and identification of microplastics
ID Kolbl Repinc, Sabina (Author), ID Bizjan, Benjamin (Author), ID Budhiraja, Vaibhav (Author), ID Dular, Matevž (Author), ID Gostiša, Jurij (Author), ID Brajer Humar, Barbara (Author), ID Kaurin, Anela (Author), ID Kržan, Andrej (Author), ID Levstek, Meta (Author), ID Morales Arteaga, Juan Francisco (Author), ID Petkovšek, Martin (Author), ID Rak, Gašper (Author), ID Stres, Blaž (Author), ID Širok, Brane (Author), ID Žagar, Ema (Author), ID Zupanc, Mojca (Author)

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Wastewater treatment plants, the last barrier between ever-increasing human activities and the environment, produce huge amounts, of unwanted semi-solid by-product - waste activated sludge. Anaerobic digestion can be used to reduce the amount of sludge. However, the process needs extensive modernisation and refinement to realize its full potential. This can be achieved by using efficient pre-treatment processes that result in high sludge disintegration and solubilization. To this end, we investigated the efficiency of a novel pinned disc rotational generator of hydrodynamic cavitation. The results of physical and chemical evaluation showed a reduction in mean particle size up to 88%, an increase in specific surface area up to 300% and an increase in soluble COD, NH$_4$-N, NO$_3$-N, PO$_4$-P up to 155.8, 126.3, 250 and 29.7%, respectively. Microscopic images confirmed flocs disruption and damage to yeast cells and Epistilys species due to mechanical effects of cavitation such as microjets and shear forces. The observed cell ruptures and cracks were sufficient for the release of small soluble biologically relevant dissolved organic molecules into the bulk liquid, but not for the release of microbial DNA. Cavitation treatment also decreased total Pb concentrations by 70%, which was attributed to the reactions triggered by the chemical effects of cavitation. Additionally, the study confirmed the presence of microplastic particles and fibers of polyethylene, polyethylene terephthalate, polypropylene, and nylon 6 in the waste activated sludge.

Keywords:hydrodynamic cavitation, waste activated sludge, sludge characteristics, microbial damage, potentially toxic metals, microplastics
Work type:Article
Typology:1.01 - Original Scientific Article
Organization:FGG - Faculty of Civil and Geodetic Engineering
FS - Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
BF - Biotechnical Faculty
Publication status:Published
Publication version:Version of Record
Number of pages:14 str.
Numbering:Vol. 806, pt. 4, art. 151414
PID:20.500.12556/RUL-133321 This link opens in a new window
ISSN on article:0048-9697
DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.151414 This link opens in a new window
COBISS.SI-ID:83741955 This link opens in a new window
Publication date in RUL:22.11.2021
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Record is a part of a journal

Title:Science of the total environment
Shortened title:Sci. total environ.
COBISS.SI-ID:26369024 This link opens in a new window


License:CC BY 4.0, Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Description:This is the standard Creative Commons license that gives others maximum freedom to do what they want with the work as long as they credit the author.

Secondary language

Keywords:hidrodinamska kavitacija, odpadno blato, lastnosti blata, poškodbe mikroorganizmov, potencialno nevarne kovine, mikroplastika


Funder:ARRS - Agencija za raziskovalno dejavnost Republike Slovenije
Project number:P2-0401
Name:Energetsko strojništvo

Funder:ARRS - Agencija za raziskovalno dejavnost Republike Slovenije
Project number:P2-0180
Name:Vodarstvo in geotehnika: orodja in metode za analize in simulacije procesov ter razvoj tehnologij

Funder:ARRS - Agencija za raziskovalno dejavnost Republike Slovenije
Project number:J7-2601
Name:Metoda dekontaminacije aktivnih blat in njihovih produktov za njihovo trajnostno uporabo kot fosfatna gnojila

Funder:ARRS - Agencija za raziskovalno dejavnost Republike Slovenije
Project number:J7-1814
Name:Kavitacija - rešitev za problematiko mikroplastike?

Funder:EC - European Commission
Funding programme:H2020
Project number:860720
Name:Microplastics in Europe's freshwater ecosystems: from sources to solutions

Funder:Drugi - Drug financer ali več financerjev
Funding programme:COST
Project number:CA16215
Name:European Network for the Promotion of Portable, Affordable, and Simple Analytical Platforms

Funder:EC - European Commission
Funding programme:H2020
Project number:771567
Name:An investigation of the mechanisms at the interaction between cavitation bubbles and contaminants

Funder:Drugi - Drug financer ali več financerjev
Funding programme:University of Ljubljana, UL Innovation Fund

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