Wastewater sludge

Wastewater sludge can become a new resource for alternative energy
Scientists have determined that wastewater sludge has the potential of becoming a new resource for alternative energy.
According to a report in ENN (Environmental News Network), wastewater treatment is coming under increasing scrutiny, with the financial cost of energy and the environment cost of energy generation driving new interest in the conversion of sewage sludge to energy.
Thats also because the view of municipal sewage has shifted, from a waste to be treated and disposed of, to a resource that can be processed for recovery of energy, nutrients, and other constituents.
Research has demonstrated that sewage actually contains 10 times the energy needed to treat it, and it is technically feasible to recover energy from sludge.
As renewable energy, it can be directly used for wastewater treatment, reducing the facilitys dependency on conventional electricity.
The greater the quantity of energy produced by the industry, the more the industry can help reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.
Using solids as a resource rather than a waste may help stressed public budgets as well. Wastewater solids must be processed prior to disposal, and solids handling accounts for as much as 30 percent of a wastewater treatment facilitys costs.
According to a paper State of the Science Report: Energy and Resource Recovery from Sludge, published by the Global Water Research Coalition, converting solids to energy is feasible and desirable, from a treatment perspective.
In that regards, the Water Environment Research Foundation developed the Life Cycle Assessment Manager for Energy Recovery (LCAMER) model to helps wastewater agencies determine the feasibility of recovering energy from anaerobic digestion of wastewater solids.

Production of polyhydroxyalkanoates by activated sludge treating a paper mill wastewater
Production of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) in activated sludge treating wastewater represents an economical and environmental promising alternative to pure culture fermentations. A process for production of PHA from a paper mill wastewater was examined at laboratory scale. The three stage process examined consisted of acidogenic fermentation to convert wastewater organic matter to volatile fatty acids (VFAs), an activated sludge system operating under feast/famine conditions to enrich for PHA producing organisms and accumulation of PHA in batch experiments. After fermentation of the wastewater, 74% of the soluble COD was present as VFA (acetate, propionate, butyrate and valerate) and the resulting PHA after batch accumulation consisted of 31-47 mol% hydroxybutyrate and 53-69 mol% hydroxyvalerate. The maximum PHA content achieved was 48% of the sludge dry weight and the three stage process exhibited a potential to produce 0.11 kg of PHA per kg of influent COD treated.