Stabilization of heavy metals in sewage sludge composting process.Water Sci Technol. 2001; 44(10):95-100.WS
This study investigated the stabilization of heavy metals in a sewage sludge composting process using kaoline addition. The results indicate that the temperature increased rapidly to the thermophilic phase (>55 degrees C) at day 1. The additives enhanced the rate of biodegradation and microbial activity during the co-composting process. The changes in pH (ranging from 8 to 8.5) and electrical conductivity (EC) (< or =3 mS/cm) were in compliance with the best conditions during the co-composting process. The C/N ratio was determined in each co-compost sample as an indicator of the co-compost maturity. From the end product of the co-compost experiment, changes in the ratios indicate that the additives promote the co-compost maturation rate. Based on the physicochemical characteristics of the co-compost, the potential use for sewage sludge resource recovery as manure is suggested. The total concentrations of Pb, Cd, Cr, Cu, and Zn in the co-compost product were far below the limit values for agricultural use. The leachability of Pb, Cu, and Cr decreased with increasing co-composting time. That is, the kaoline additive has an inhibitory capacity for leaching heavy metals. The Cd concentrations in the sludge compost were below the detection limits. Because the total concentration of Zn was high in the sludge compost and most soluble Zn was leachable, the leachability of Zn ranged from 25% to 29%. As a result of the physicochemical characteristics and heavy metal stabilization, the selected additive was shown to improve the sewage sludge compost quality and provide information for agricultural applications.