Recirculation of Process Water in a Wet Fermentation of Organic Fraction of Municipal Solid Waste

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

Institute of Waste Management and Circular Economy, Technische Universität Dresden, – Pratzschwitzer Straße 15, 01796 Pirna, Germany

Abstract

The mechanical biological treatment plant of Freienhufen is used to stabilize residual waste. Since the rural districts Elbe - Elster and Oberspreewald - Lausitz match their waste management with federal law, organic fraction of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) will be collected separately in future. Hence the anaerobic digestion process has to be converted. The accomplishment has to refer to the existing operating regime to reduce investment costs. This contains a wet fermentation. In order to facilitate the conversion of the operating process, suitable particle sizes and volumetric loads have to be examined. In addition, the liquid phase of the digestate shall be recirculated maximal to save both fresh water and waste water disposal costs. The one year lasting investigations were performed in lab-scale with a various number of reactors. Before feeding the bio-waste was pre-treated. In order to do that, the bio-waste was milled to particle sizes of 2, 4, 8, and 10 mm. In addition, the digestate was dewatered to gain process water. While using the process water fresh water was substituted in varying proportions. The feeding of the reactors was adjusted to the standards of the operating plant. For that reason, the dry matter content in the reactor was adjusted at 10.5 %. Depending on the delivered raw material, this restriction led both to unsteady water requirements and volumetric loading. As a result of investigations an optimal particle size as well as optimal proportion of recirculated process water were defined. For that reason, comprehensive analyses were conducted weekly to characterize the delivered raw material as well as the solid and liquid phase of the digestate in order to determine critical moments due to recirculation of process water. In conclusion, liquid and solid phase of the digestate should be evaluated with regards to application as fertilizer.

Keywords


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