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Optimizing chemical conditioning for odour removal of undigested sewage sludge in drying processes

Emission of odours during the thermal drying in sludge handling processes is one of the main sources of odour problems in wastewater treatment plants. The objective of this work was to assess the use of the response surface methodology as a technique to optimize the chemical conditioning process of undigested sewage sludges, in order to improve the dewaterability, and to reduce the odour emissions during the thermal drying of the sludge. Synergistic effects between inorganic conditioners (iron chloride and calcium oxide) were observed in terms of sulphur emissions and odour reduction. The developed quadratic models indicated that optimizing the conditioners dosage is possible to increase a 70% the dewaterability, reducing a 50% and 54% the emission of odour and volatile sulphur compounds respectively. The optimization of the conditioning process was validated experimentally.

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