Ozonolysis pre-treatments to increase biogas production

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The pre-treatment with ozone (O3) of the sludge fed to the anaerobic digestion represents an interesting process proposal in order to determine the increase of biogas production.
The ozonation of the sludge fed to anaerobic digestion induces lysis processes of sludge itself, determining the potential increase of the bio-availability of organic substrates in the digester and the consequent increase of biogas production.

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Planned activities within PerFORM WATER 2030

The experimental activities regarding ozonolysis of sludge fed to the anaerobic digestion are part of the Recovery of energy and materials research line included in PerFORM WATER 2030. They involve the installation of a sludge ozonation plant for the pre-thickener. The plant, consisting of a 2 KgO3/h ozone generator and a contact reactor, will allow to evaluate the effect of the ozonation process on the final biogas production.

Objectives and expected results

  • Increase of biogas production and quality.

  • Reduction of sludge mass coming out of the digester.

  • Control of the effects of ozonolysis on the final dewatering phases.

  • Identification of the key parameters of the process.

  • Development of a model for the control of the ozonation process of the sludge fed to anaerobic digestion.

Description of the activities

  • Design, construction and installation of an ozone treatment plant of sludge fed to anaerobic digestion (pre-thickener) equipped with an automatic control system.

  • Start-up, operation and monitoring of the ozonation plant and control of the operating parameters of the anaerobic digester in order to verify the performance and optimize the process.

  • Execution of specific ozonolysis tests of laboratory-scale and biogas production tests (BMP).

Pilot site

The experimental activities will be located at San Giuliano Milanese West WWTP (Wastewater treatment plant) operated by CAP Group.
For further information, please refer to the specific web-page dedicated to demonstration sites of PerFORM WATER 2030.

Partners involved

S.I.A.D. S.p.A. carries out the design, construction, installation and operation of the plant. SIAD performs preliminary ozonolysis tests for the initial setting of field activity and also performs data collection and data processing.
Politecnico di Milano, provides the support for the design, the scientific support in the activities and conducts tests and analysis for verifing the biogas production. POLIMI's activities also include the management and development of a modeling of the entire process that allows the development of control and forecasting tools.
IRSA-CNR conducts micropollutant analyzes of digestate and sludge both in input and in output from the digester.
CAP Group provides the San Giuliano Ovest WWTP, as the location of the pilot plant; in particular, CAP makes available the pre-thickener and the anaerobic digester, preparing the plant adjustments and the necessary electrical-hydraulic connections.

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